Nine dead and more than 800 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. The number of deaths has now risen to nine, according to the Taiwanese government. At least 820 people were also injured. The material damage appears to be limited, but a tsunami alarm is still in effect.

Foreign editorial

April 3 2024

Latest update:

According to authorities, more than a hundred people have been buried under rubble or completely isolated by fallen boulders. The rescue work is in full swing.

Connections along the east coast are blocked by rocks in many places. Taiwanese media report that ships are being deployed to reach isolated areas or places along the coast. An attempt is also being made to make a railway usable again by Thursday at the latest. At least four of the victims who died were tourists on a path along a coastal road or in a nature park on the east coast.

Among those trapped were also two German tourists who became trapped in a tunnel by crumbling rocks in the Taroko nature park. The two have now been freed, the German newspaper reported Image. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not yet have any indications that there are Dutch victims or Dutch people in need in Taiwan.

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. 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A tsunami warning was issued for Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, but has already been withdrawn for the last two countries.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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