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Tsunami warning cancelled after Taiwan earthquake

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:36 a.m.) — The tsunami warning issued for several coastal provinces in the Philippines has been cancelled following a strong earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday.

The earthquake, measuring 7.5 magnitude with a depth of 11 kilometers, rattled Taiwan at 07:58 a.m. (Philippine time), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The agency immediately issued a tsunami warning for the provinces of Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela, advising immediate evacuation for coastal communities.

However, few people in the lightly populated northern regions appear to have responded to the orders, and the tsunami warning was lifted after a couple of hours.

Following continued monitoring by Phivolcs, it was determined that there have been "no significant  sea  level  disturbances" since the earthquake occurred.

"With this, any effects due to the tsunami warning have largely passed and therefore DOST-PHIVOLCS has now cancelled all Tsunami Warnings issued for this event," the agency said.

Phivolcs had initially warned of "high tsunami waves" based on wave models.

A major 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan's east on Wednesday morning, prompting tsunami warnings for the self-ruled island as well as parts of southern Japan and the Philippines.

The quake hit just before 8:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) putting the epicenter 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Taiwan's Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 km.

The seismological agency corrected an earlier advisory that said 23 provinces would be affected by the tsunami. The advisory did not affect the capital Manila. — with a report from Agence France-Presse