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Nine dead and a hundred injured in 7.5 Tawan earthquake

  • April 3, 2024
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In this photo released by the National Fire Agency, members of a search and rescue team prepare outside a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century rocked the island during the morning rush Wednesday, damaging buildings and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands. (National Fire Agency via AP) An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.2 to 7.5 struck Taiwan, killing nine people and injuring around 100 others. The victims all died in the Hualien region, near the epicenter of the earthquake in the east of the island. Three were found on a hiking trail, while the fourth was trapped in a road tunnel.

Taipei authorities confirmed this toll and reported the presence of nearly sixty injured. The earthquake, which occurred shortly before 8 p.m. (EDT), was followed by several aftershocks and its epicenter was located at shallow sea, off the eastern coast of Taiwan.

Strict building rules and natural disaster preparedness appear to have limited damage, although two buildings collapsed in Hualien, trapping several people.

Initially, tsunami warnings were issued for Taiwan, the southwestern islands of Japan and some provinces in the Philippines, but they were later canceled. Naha Airport in Okinawa suspended air traffic, but operations resumed after the alert was lifted.

This earthquake is considered the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years, since that of 1999 which left 2,400 dead. Taiwan and Japan, due to their geographical position, regularly face earthquakes, which has prompted them to apply some of the strictest construction standards in the world to limit the risks.