Death toll of ‘heaviest earthquake in 25 years’ near Taiwan continues to rise: ‘Never felt anything like this’ | Abroad

--

It was an earthquake near the coast of the island, where the mountainous city of Hualien was mainly affected. Taiwan’s fire brigade suspects that people have been killed by falling rocks, including a truck driver who was driving on a highway. In total, at least 26 buildings have collapsed, more than half of them in Hualien. People were injured in cities such as New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung.

Video: Heaviest earthquake in the past 25 years

“I had never experienced that you really feel that the entire building you are in is moving in a very strange way,” said Belgian China expert Catherine Vuylsteke on Flemish Radio 1. She has only just landed in Taipei, where she is staying on the eighth floor of an apartment building. The damage was not that bad. According to the journalist, the earthquake was felt ‘not for 1 or 2 seconds, but for about half a minute’, and there were several aftershocks.

Read more below

© ANP/AFP

A man is rescued from the wreckage in Taipei.

Public transport has been shut down in various places on the island, which has around 23 million inhabitants. Local authorities in Hualien report that schools will be closed on Wednesday. Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC has evacuated its business premises as a precaution. In some regions, Taiwanese people are without power, but there are no large-scale power outages.

Are you in Taiwan and did you notice the earthquake? Then we would like to get in touch with you. Use our WhatsApp tip line: +31613650952 – also to send photos and videos.

Japan, the Philippines and Paraguay and Guatemala have expressed their support for Taiwan through in Japanese to messages of support from Japanese Prime Minister Kishida. Last January, the DPP won the elections in Taiwan for the third time in a row.

The earthquake was felt throughout Taiwan and neighboring islands “because it occurred shallow and close to land,” Taiwan’s meteorological agency CWA said. It was an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale. Strong aftershocks of magnitude 6.5 to 7 could occur over the next three to four days, CWA, which has already recorded 58 aftershocks, warns.

Read more below

© ANP/AFP

An apartment building in Hualien is in danger of falling due to the earthquake.

This is the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan since the earthquake of September 21, 1999 with a magnitude of 7.3. Then as many as 2,400 people died. Tsunami warnings were issued for Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, but have since been reversed. A small tsunami reached the Japanese islands of Yonaguni and Ishigaki in Yonaguni Prefecture.

In the region outside Hualien, the damage appears to be less serious. Taiwan, where most people live in multi-storey buildings, is therefore better equipped against earthquakes. The island is located in the so-called ‘ring of fire’, an area where natural disasters occur more often. After previous earthquakes, the island, like Japan, has taken measures to make buildings more earthquake-resistant. For example, the 1999 earthquake woke up the authorities, causing building codes to be changed.

Think of the famous 101 building in Taipei, which is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. According to construction experts, the European architectural style, such as the use of bricks and concrete, poses a high risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake, partly due to the soft ground. A structure with steel beams would be more resistant to natural disasters.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Death toll heaviest earthquake years Taiwan continues rise felt

-

PREV Suspect driving to death Rotterdam family: ‘I don’t see myself as a terrible man’
NEXT There are large differences between gas and electricity providers