A tsunami warning has been issued for coastal regions in northern Philippines after a powerful earthquake struck near Taiwan.

The earthquake struck at 7:58 a.m. (PST), setting off alarm bells at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration put the quake’s magnitude at 7.2.

According to initial assessments and tsunami wave models, coastal areas of the Philippines facing the Pacific Ocean are at risk of experiencing tsunami waves.

The forecast indicates that the first waves could hit between 8:33 AM and 10:33 AM on April 3, 2024, with the possibility of continued wave activity for several hours thereafter.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) urged residents in coastal areas to take immediate action by evacuating to higher ground or moving farther inland. 

Specifically, residents of the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Isabela provinces are advised to heed evacuation orders to ensure their safety.

Residents, boat owners in harbors, estuaries, and shallow coastal waters in the aforementioned provinces are instructed to secure their vessels and relocate away from the waterfront.

Those already at sea during this period are advised to remain offshore in deep waters until further notice.

The earthquake is the biggest to hit Taiwan in at least 25 years, according to a report by Reuters.

As of this writing, the government reported four people killed, 736 injured, and 77 trapped in tunnels and collapsed buildings.

A tsunami warning was also issued in Japan and was lifted later.

Japan’s weather agency put the quake’s magnitude at 7.7, and reported several small tsunami waves reaching the southern area of Okinawa.