At least seven dead and 700 injured after earthquake in Taiwan, ‘heaviest in 25 years’ | Abroad


with videoAn earthquake has struck off the coast of Taiwan that the country’s seismological agency said is the region’s strongest in 25 years. At least seven deaths and 700 injuries have been reported, the Taiwanese government said. That number could still increase. The material damage appears to be limited, but a tsunami alarm is still in effect.

Foreign editorial

April 3 2024

Latest update:

Three of the deceased victims were part of a group of hikers. They might have been hit by rocks. The fourth victim was a truck driver. His vehicle was hit by a landslide.

The earthquake struck at just before 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. Dutch time) and was felt throughout Taiwan and the surrounding islands. The Taiwan Meteorological Institute reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2. The Japan Meteorological Institute initially reported a magnitude of 7.5, but later adjusted this to 7.7. The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of 15.5 kilometers.

Buildings collapsed and damaged in the city of Hualien, leaving about 20 people trapped under the rubble. Rescue efforts are still in progress.

The earthquake was also clearly felt in the capital Taipei, according to eyewitnesses. Public transport has been shut down in various places on the island, which has a population of 23 million.

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Tsunami warning

A tsunami warning was issued for Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, but has already been withdrawn for the last two countries. A small tsunami already reached the Japanese islands of Yonaguni and Ishigaki in Yonaguni Prefecture. Authorities warn of waves of three meters or higher.

Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC has evacuated its business premises as a precaution. Residents of Taiwan are without power in several places, but there are no large-scale power outages.

A building in Hualien city leans after the earthquake. © AFP

Japan is prepared to provide assistance after the earthquake, Prime Minister Kishida said on X. He says he is heartbroken by the news.

China also offered Taiwan assistance in the rescue efforts on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau said. It is not yet clear whether Taiwan will accept the aid. Relations between the two countries are tense as China views Taiwan as part of its territory.

In September 1999, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake killed as many as 2,400 people in Taiwan.

A building partially collapsed during an earthquake in eastern Taiwan. © AP
Emergency workers in New Taipei City.
Emergency workers in New Taipei City. © AFP

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: dead injured earthquake Taiwan heaviest years


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