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1 dead in Taiwan from fire sparked by quake off south Japan

/ 03:19 PM April 20, 2015
In a photo provided by the Taipei Fire Department, vehicles are seen piled on themselves in an automated parking tower after the lift system failed during the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck off the island's eastern coast in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, April 20, 2015. No injuries resulted in the accident. The date that this photo was taken, seen in bottom right, is from the camera of the Taipei Fire Department. (Taipei Fire Department via AP)

In a photo provided by the Taipei Fire Department, vehicles are seen piled on themselves in an automated parking tower after the lift system failed during the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck off the island’s eastern coast in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, April 20, 2015. No injuries resulted in the accident. The date that this photo was taken, seen in bottom right, is from the camera of the Taipei Fire Department. (Taipei Fire Department via AP)

TAIPEI, Taiwan— A strong undersea earthquake that struck between Taiwan and southern Japan on Monday sparked a house fire that killed a man outside of Taiwan’s capital, authorities said.

The quake triggered an advisory for a tsunami of up to 1 meter (3 feet) in Japan that was lifted after just over an hour. It caused buildings in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei to sway, and people there rushed into the streets.

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One person was killed in a house fire in the Taipei suburb of Xinzhuang that was sparked by the explosion of an electricity transformer box due to the quake, Taiwan’s fire and rescue agency said in a statement.

Footage from Taiwanese television broadcaster TBS showed signs and lights swinging from the ceiling of a newsroom in Taipei. Fire crews sealed off a multi-level parking lot in central Taipei after the mechanical parking tower failed, damaging 11 cars.

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The Japan Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake’s epicenter was at a shallow point in seas east of Taiwan and south of Okinawa, near the Yonaguni islands. It said no tsunami was detected.

Television footage of the area showed calm seas, but as a precaution schoolchildren in some low-lying parts of islands in the region were evacuated to safer locations.

Japan reacts intensely to tsunami risks following the massive destruction caused by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 18,500 people.

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TAGS: Fire, Japan, quake off, undersea
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