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An earthquake offshore Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.2 rocked Taipei, the capital, on Wednesday morning, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines. - NSTP/LOONG WAI TING
An earthquake offshore Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.2 rocked Taipei, the capital, on Wednesday morning, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines. - NSTP/LOONG WAI TING

TAIPEI: An earthquake offshore Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.2 rocked Taipei, the capital, on Wednesday morning, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan television stations showed footage of some collapsed buildings in Hualien, near the quake's epicentre, and media reported some people were trapped.

The quake could be felt as far as Shanghai, according to a Reuters witness.

The epicentre was just off the coast of eastern county of Hualien, in waters off eastern coastline of Taiwan Island, the Taiwan central weather administration said.

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas of the southern prefecture of Okinawa. Tsunami waves of up to 3 metres were expected to reach large areas of Japan's southwestern coast, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which put the quake magnitude at 7.5.

The Philippines Seismology Agency also issued a warning for residents in coastal areas of several provinces, urging them to evacuate to higher ground.

The quake was felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in China's Fujian province, according to Chinese state media.

The Taipei city government has not received any reports of damage and the city's MRT was up and running soon after.

Southern Taiwan Science Park, where semiconductor giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has a plant, said companies were operating without impact.

Taiwan's official central news agency said the quake was the biggest to hit the island since 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude tremor killed around 2,400 people. — Reuters