At least seven were killed and nearly 730 injured after an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the seismic scale struck in Taiwan on Wednesday, AFP reported. Tsunami warnings that had been issued for parts of Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan were later lifted.

Authorities also said that 77 persons were trapped in tunnels and collapsed buildings, Reuters reported. About 60 were stuck in a tunnel north of Hualien city.

Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-te said: “At present the most important thing, the top priority, is to rescue people.”

The quake hit just before 8 am local time, Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration said. This was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years, BBC quoted the country’s seismology officials as saying.

The earthquake was a shallow one, at a depth of 15.5 kilometres. Shallow earthquakes tend to be more destructive.

It led to the snapping of electricity supply in several areas of Taiwanese capital Taipei. Local news channels in Taiwan showed footage of some collapsed structures in the eastern city of Hualien, which is located close to the quake’s epicentre.

Officials have also warned of more tremors in the days ahead, AFP said.

Authorities in Taiwan had issued a tsunami warning asking people in the coastal areas to be vigilant and take precautions, AFP reported.

Japan had also issued an evacuation advisory for its southern Miyakojima and Yaeyama islands and the Okinawa Main Island, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. The Japan Meteorological Agency recorded the quake’s magnitude as 7.7.

Authorities in the Philippines had also asked residents in coastal areas of several of its provinces to evacuate to higher ground.

All warnings were later lifted.