The Taiwan earthquake proved to be Taiwan’s strongest in 25 years, killing at least nine people and trapping more than a dozen tunnels

The Taiwan earthquake proved to be Taiwan’s strongest in 25 years, killing at least nine people and trapping more than a dozen tunnels

Taiwan Earthquake

The strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in a quarter century rocked the island during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, damaging buildings and roads and killing nine people.

The Taiwan earthquake proved to be Taiwan's strongest in 25 years, killing at least nine people and trapping more than a dozen tunnels
The National Legislature, a converted school built before World War II, and the main airport in Taoyuan, just south of Taipei, also suffered some damage.

Taiwan was hit on Wednesday by the most powerful earthquake in 25 years, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 800. Rescue teams are working hard to free dozens of people trapped in the highway tunnel.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off the island’s east coast at 7:58 a.m. local time, 18 kilometers (11 mi) south of the city of Hualien and at a depth of 34.8 kilometers (21 mi), according to the Geological Survey. United States. Reporting teams were hit by a series of aftershocks across the island, including the capital, Taipei.

The earthquake caused the roofs of ancient buildings to collapse in the capital, Taipei, and schools were sent to playgrounds for the safety of their students. Some children cover themselves with textbooks and shiver. Later, a five-story building in Hualien County near the offshore epicenter tilted at a 45-degree angle, causing the first floor to collapse.

Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said nine people were killed in the 8 a.m. quake. Three hikers died after being hit by rocks in Tarco National Park, while a van driver was killed by rocks falling on his vehicle, local newspaper United Daily News reported.

The agency said authorities had cut off contact with 50 people on the minibus after the quake disrupted the telephone network. More than 70 people are trapped but alive, some of whom are in coal mines. Another 881 people were injured.

Officials said they expected four earthquakes of relatively mild magnitude but did not issue any warnings. But the earthquake was so strong that people familiar with such earthquakes panicked.

“Earthquakes are common, and I’m used to them,” said Hsien-hsien Keng, who lives on the fifth floor in Taipei. But today I was afraid of crying for the first time in the earthquake. I woke up. Before the earthquake. Such a strong vibration has never happened before.

The National Legislature, a converted school built before World War II, and the main airport in Taoyuan, just south of Taipei, also suffered some damage.

Debris fell on tunnels and highways in the mountainous region, and traffic on the east coast came to a near standstill after the quake. Train services were suspended across the island of 23 million people, and metro service in the capital, Taipei, also ended. A newly constructed ground line was also partially closed.

A tsunami wave of 30 centimeters (about 1 foot) was detected off the coast of Yonaguni Island 15 minutes after the quake, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Small waves were measured at Ishigaki and Miyako Islands.

According to Chinese media, the earthquake was felt in Shanghai and some provinces on China’s southeast coast. The distance between China and Taiwan is about 160 kilometers (100 mi). China has not issued any tsunami warnings for the Chinese mainland and all warnings for the area were lifted by Wednesday afternoon.

Initial concerns after the quake were quickly quelled on the island, which regularly shakes and prepares for earthquakes, with notices issued via mobile phones and public media.

By afternoon, the subway station in Beitu, a busy suburb in northern Taipei, was once again packed with people heading to work and walking along the mountain path at the base of an extinct volcano.

Stephen Gao, a seismologist professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, said Taiwan’s earthquake preparedness is among the most advanced in the world, including extensive public education campaigns on earthquake protection, a world-class seismic network, and strict building codes.

Hualien was hit by a massive earthquake in 2018, causing the collapse of several buildings, including a historic hotel. On September 21, 1999, Taiwan experienced its worst earthquake in recent years, with a magnitude of 7.7. The earthquake killed 2,400 people, injured nearly 100,000, and destroyed thousands of buildings.

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