Powerful Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, Causing Damage and Deaths

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – April 3, 2024

A powerful earthquake, the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years, struck the island early Wednesday morning, damaging buildings, causing landslides, and leaving at least seven people dead.

The 7.2 – 7.4 magnitude quake, centered near the eastern city of Hualien, sent shockwaves across the island, injuring over 700 people and trapping dozens in collapsed buildings and tunnels. Buildings in the capital, Taipei, sustained damage, and schools evacuated students as aftershocks continued.

The most severe damage occurred in Hualien County, where a five-story building leaned precariously at a 45-degree angle after the quake. Rockslides triggered by the tremor caused fatalities in Taroko National Park.

The earthquake also triggered a tsunami warning, which was later lifted. Small waves were measured on the coast of nearby Japanese islands. Train and subway services across Taiwan were suspended, and traffic on the east coast was hampered by landslides and debris.

Taiwan, a region prone to earthquakes, has implemented strict building codes and public education campaigns to prepare for such events. Rescue efforts are underway to locate the trapped individuals and assess the full extent of the damage.

Key Points:

  • Strongest earthquake in Taiwan in 25 years strikes the island.
  • At least seven dead, over 700 injured, and dozens trapped.
  • Buildings damaged in Hualien and Taipei.
  • Tsunami warning lifted after small waves measured in Japan.
  • Train and subway services suspended, east coast traffic disrupted.
  • Taiwan’s earthquake preparedness programs in action for rescue and recovery.

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