Tsunami Danger Said To Be Over After Powerful Quake Near Taiwan

A powerful earthquake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, prompting fears of a tsunami on the second anniversary of the quake and deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia.

An official at Japan's Meteorological Agency said there was no longer any danger of a destructive tsunami headed for the Philippines, as had been predicted.

"The danger has passed," said Hiroshi Koide of the agency's earthquake section. "We predicted tsunami based on the depth and magnitude of the earthquake. But ultimately, it appears no large tsunami were triggered."

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The quake was felt throughout Taiwan. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered magnitude 7.1, while Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau measured it at 6.7. It was followed eight minutes later by an aftershock registering 7.0, the USGS said.

Taiwanese media reported one person died and three were injured in the southern city of Pintung when their home collapsed. Four members of the same family were trapped in the rubble, the reports said.

Other media reports said city streets had cracked and a major bridge was damaged. They said fires were burning out in the area, apparently caused by downed electric power cables.

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