Taiwan 7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Leaves 9 Dead

Taiwan 7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Leaves 9 Dead

(DailyDig.com) – Taiwan experienced their strongest earthquake since 1999, a 7.4 magnitude, on April 3. The earthquake inflicted injuries on about 1,000 people, claimed nine lives, and left many more missing. Authorities in Taiwan warn that the death and injury tolls could increase as rescue crews work in the next few days.

During rush hour, the damage ranged from falling to totally collapsing buildings and highways. Older buildings shed tiles and support structures, while schools saw children using textbooks to shield themselves from falling debris. The Taichung Fire Bureau reported landslides as boulders crashed onto a highway in the mountains, hitting one vehicle.

Videos show a five-story building in Hualien County leaning nearly 45 degrees as the first floor collapsed beneath it. Hualien County is nearly 70 miles south of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake epicenter, located eleven miles offshore and about ten miles deep, was close to Hualien County, prompting tsunami warnings for the area.

Taiwan’s National Fire Agency (NFA) stated that about 143 people were trapped in damaged hotels; 71 employees of a rock quarry in Hualien County were also trapped, along with several people in tunnels that collapsed in Hualien City. Over 50 people are missing while traveling in Taroko National Park. The NFA had dispatched rescue crews to all of these locations.

Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, announced the formation of a disaster response center and the National Army’s commitment to supporting local governments in their needs. She reminded them to be aware of their safety and not take any elevators until the threat had passed.

Over 87 thousand households were without power due to the earthquake and the aftershocks, some as big as 6.5 magnitude.

Taiwan is a part of the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean. It is a line that encircles the Pacific and consists of faults that are seismically active.

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