9 Deaths and Hundred Injuries in Taiwan’s Strongest Earthquake in Over 25 Years

taiwan earthquake

Nine individuals lost their lives and over 800 were injured in a devastating earthquake in Taiwan on Wednesday, which also caused significant damage to numerous buildings. This event led to tsunami alerts being issued across Japan and the Philippines, though these were later retracted.

Authorities have described this earthquake as the most severe to impact the island in many years, with expectations of further seismic activity to follow.

Wu Chien-fu, the head of the Seismology Center at Taipei’s Central Weather Administration, highlighted the quake’s proximity to the surface and its wide-reaching impact across Taiwan and its surrounding isles.

Thanks to rigorous construction standards and a general awareness of disaster preparedness, a greater disaster was likely averted on the island, which is prone to seismic events due to its location near the convergence of two tectonic plates.

Heartbrake Scene - Earthquake in Taiwan

This quake, with a magnitude of 7.4, is noted as the most significant since a 7.6 magnitude quake in September 1999, which resulted in approximately 2,400 fatalities, marking it as the most tragic natural disaster in the island’s recent history.

The quake struck just before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT), with the US Geological Survey (USGS) identifying the epicenter 18 kilometers south of Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers.

Among the casualties were three hikers, part of a group of seven, who were fatally struck by falling rocks during an early morning trek in the surrounding hills of the city. Additionally, falling rocks caused the deaths of the drivers of a truck and a car, and one individual perished at a mining site.

While specific details on the other three fatalities were not immediately provided, the National Fire Agency confirmed that all deaths occurred in Hualien county and reported 882 injuries, without detailing their severity.

Footage and images circulating on social media depicted the country’s buildings swaying during the quake.

“There was intense shaking; things were falling off the walls, my TV, and my liquor cabinet,”

recounted a Hualien resident to SET TV.


Local television displayed images of buildings in Hualien and other locations leaning post-quake, and footage of a warehouse in New Taipei City collapsing.

More than 50 individuals were rescued from the debris of the collapsed structure, as reported by the mayor of the city.

Efforts were underway to clear debris and rocks blocking the primary route to Hualien, a coastal city encircled by mountains, which had been isolated due to landslides.

With the main access roads running through a series of robust tunnels, officials estimated up to 120 individuals could be trapped in vehicles within these tunnels.

“We need to ascertain the number of individuals trapped and ensure their swift rescue.”

Stated Lai Ching-te, the president-elect and current Vice-President, in Hualien.

Efforts were also being made to restore the primary railway line along the east coast, which had been disrupted in several locations.

President Tsai Ing-wen urged for collaboration between local and central government agencies and announced military support.

Regional Impact 

Following the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued in Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines but were withdrawn by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center by 10 am (0200 GMT), stating the threat had largely subsided.

In Taipei, the metro service was temporarily suspended but resumed after an hour, and residents received advisories to check for gas leaks.

Situated near the junction of two tectonic plates, Taiwan frequently experiences earthquakes, as does Japan, which records about 1,500 seismic events annually.

In China’s Fujian province and elsewhere, social media users reported feeling the quake’s tremors.

Hong Kong residents also felt the earthquake, with China expressing readiness to offer disaster relief to Taiwan, which it views as a part of its territory.

Operations at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the leading chip manufacturer globally, were momentarily disrupted, and construction activities at new sites were paused for the day.

While the region often experiences mild quakes, their impact varies based on the depth and location of the epicenter beneath the Earth’s surface.

Source: https://weather.com/news/video/taiwan-earthquake-collapses-buildings-rescues-ensue

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