Major earthquake off Taiwan coast, at least seven dead


NOS Newstoday, 03:14Amended today, 08:44

At least seven people were killed in a major earthquake in eastern Taiwan last night. Authorities say more than 700 people have been injured and 77 remain in custody. The quake had a magnitude of 7.2, making it the strongest in Taiwan in almost 25 years.

The quake occurred during the morning rush hour, shortly before 8 a.m. local time. The epicenter was in the sea, about 25 kilometers southeast of the coastal town of Hualien. Aftershocks occurred regularly in the hours after the quake.

According to Taiwanese media, three of the four fatalities died in a national park near Hualien. They were said to have been hit by a rock avalanche in the mountainous area. In the city, sagging buildings partly hang over the streets. The fourth victim was a truck driver, whose vehicle was hit by a landslide.

Major earthquake hits Taiwan

There was less damage in the capital Taipei, more than 100 kilometers further north. Facade cladding, among other things, ended up on the street. Items also fell over in many homes. As a result of the earthquake, train traffic throughout the country was temporarily halted. Offices and school buildings were evacuated.

After the quake, the Philippines and Japan issued tsunami warnings, but only small waves were generated. The quake was also felt along China’s southeastern coast, such as in the port city of Shanghai.

China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, has offered aid to the island, but it is not clear whether Taiwan will take advantage of it. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida has also promised help.

Taiwan regularly experiences earthquakes, but a quake of this magnitude does not occur often. According to the Taiwan Geological Survey, the quake had a magnitude of 7.2; American measurements indicate a force of 7.4.

In September 1999, Taiwan was hit by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake. 2,400 people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed.

Rock avalanche in eastern Taiwan

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Major earthquake Taiwan coast dead


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