A strong earthquake occurred off the eastern coast of Taiwan at around 8:58 am on Wednesday, Japan time.

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Taiwan’s weather authorities have announced that a strong earthquake occurred off the eastern coast of Taiwan at around 7:58 am local time on Wednesday.

Latest: 9 confirmed dead, 934 injured

According to Taiwanese authorities, nine people have been confirmed dead in Hualien County as of 6:00 pm local time.

A total of 934 people were injured across the affected areas.

An additional 56 people are believed to be stranded inside vehicles and mines.

Tsunami warning lifted

Taiwan’s Central Weather bureau lifted its tsunami warning shortly after 11 am local time. It had warned of a possible tsunami of up to 1-meter-high shortly after the earthquake.

Tsunami waves of 82 centimeters were observed in Wushi in the northeast and 54 centimeters in Chenggong in the east.

Kishida messages he is deeply saddened by disaster

On social media platform X, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said the disaster has left him deeply saddened.

He said, “We are sincerely grateful to people in Taiwan, an important friend, who at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Noto Peninsula Earthquake gave us heartwarming support.”

Kishida went on to say Japan is ready to provide any assistance necessary to its neighbor across the sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio expressed his thoughts on the disaster in Taiwan on social media platform X.

President Tsai appreciates ties with Japan

A few hours later, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen responded in Japanese to Kishida’s post on the same platform.

She said the Japanese prime minister’s words of sympathy brought warmth to the hearts of people in Taiwan. She said that viewing posts from people in Japan on social media expressing support for Taiwan made her feel the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.

Tsai also stated that her government has already launched relief efforts and other measures, and she thanked everyone for their thoughtfulness.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen responded to Kishida’s post in Japanese.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office expresses concern

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson, Zhu Fenglian, expressed deep concern and condolences to those affected. The office issued a statement saying it will closely monitor the extent of damage and offer relief to disaster victims.

Impact on businesses

Taiwan has significant business ties with Japan, especially in the semiconductor supply chain. According to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1,502 Japanese-owned establishments were operating in Taiwan as of October 2022.

Japanese companies are trying to confirm whether the earthquake has damaged or affected any of their production bases or facilities in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of semiconductors, has told NHK that all of its personnel are safe, and those who evacuated were beginning to return to their workplaces.

The company also said that it decided to suspend work at its construction sites on Wednesday, and will resume after inspections.

Latest: 9 confirmed dead, 882 injured

According to Taiwanese authorities, nine people have been confirmed dead in Hualien County as of 5:00 pm local time.

A total of 882 people were injured in areas including New Taipei City, Taipei City and Hualien County.

In addition, 131 people are believed to be trapped in tunnels or stranded on roads.

Latest: 7 confirmed dead, 736 injured

Taiwanese authorities announced on Wednesday afternoon that seven people had died and 736 were injured.

Officials confirm 4 dead, 711 injured

Taiwan officials say four people had died and 711 were injured as of 2 pm local time on Wednesday.
They say 77 people were stranded, including those trapped inside collapsed buildings.

Fire authorities: 4 dead, 57 injured

Taiwan’s fire authorities say four people have died and 57 have been injured so far.

Officials have also confirmed that power outages have struck wide areas. Water and gas mains are down and rail services have been suspended.

Watch video 0:28
Video footage of CTI News newsroom in Taipei on Wednesday morning.

Reports of casualties in Taiwan

Reuters news agency reports that Wednesday’s earthquake has left one person dead and more than 50 injured in Taiwan, citing information from fire authorities.

NOAA lifts tsunami warnings

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, lifted all warnings at around 11 am Japan time for people in mainland China and Taiwan and along coasts in Japan to be alert for possible tsunami. But it says slight changes in tide levels could continue for several hours.

Tsunami observed

The NOAA says a tsunami of 1 meter was observed in Hualien City, another of 45 centimeters in Chenggong in eastern Taiwan, and one of 21 centimeters in Longdone in the northern city of New Taipei.

The NOAA had also been calling on people in Guam and Indonesia to be alert, noting slight changes in tide levels.

The United States Geological Survey, or USGS, said earthquakes with magnitudes of 5 to 6.7 have continued intermittently since the first earthquake.

Landslide in Hualien, Taiwan

Taiwanese TV station TVBS has been reporting on the situation in Hualien County. It has aired images of a landslide from a mountain with rising dust clouds and walls of collapsed buildings scattered on a road.

It has also showed violent shaking of ceiling-light fixtures and water in goldfish bowls.

TVBS says the disaster in Hualien is believed to be extremely severe, as aftershocks continue to rattle the region. A disaster medical team, or DMAT, has reportedly been dispatched.

Watch video 0:16
A video taken from an eyewitness shows a landslide in Hualien following the strong quake.

Building collapsed

Taiwan TV station TVBS reports that a building collapsed in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan. The first floor has reportedly collapsed, with a motorcycle underneath.

Watch video 0:18
A strong quake hit Taiwan at around 8:58 am JST on April 3.

A taxi driver who was at work in Taipei at the time of the quake has told NHK that his car swayed and a female passenger screamed.

He said he also saw what appeared to be tiles on the wall of a building falling along the road.


Tsunami warning issued after earthquake

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, says the quake could cause tsunami along Taiwan’s coast near the epicenter.

The officials at Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau put the epicenter about 25 kilometers off the coast of Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, at a depth of about 15 kilometers. They estimate the magnitude, which indicates the quake’s scale, at 7.2.

The quake registered a seismic intensity of upper 6 in Hualien County, and upper 5 in Yilan County in the northeast. It registered lower 5 in Taipei City, New Taipei City, in the north, as well as in Taichung City in a central part of the island.

The Central Weather Bureau is calling on people in coastal areas to be on the alert for sudden changes in sea levels.

Past major earthquakes

Strong earthquakes occur frequently in eastern Taiwan. In 2018, a magnitude 6.4 temblor left 17 people dead and more than 290 injured. In 2022, a quake left one person dead and more than 140 injured.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: strong earthquake occurred eastern coast Taiwan Wednesday Japan time

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