The quake hit at 07:58 a.m. (2358 GMT) at a depth of 15.5km (9.6 miles) just off the eastern coast of Taiwan, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Administration. It was the strongest quake to hit the island in 25 years, state media said.

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas of the southern prefecture of Okinawa. Tsunami waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) 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.