NewsNine Dead, Hundreds Injured As 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Taiwan

Nine Dead, Hundreds Injured As 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Taiwan


April 3, (THEWILL)- A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Taiwan on Wednesday, the strongest tremor to hit the island in at least 25 years, killing at least 9 people and injuring hundreds.

Taiwan’s official central news agency said the quake was the biggest to hit the island since 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude tremor killed around 2,400 people and destroyed or damaged 50,000 buildings in one of Taiwan’s worst-recorded quakes.

Earlier, the Government said four people had died and 711 were injured in the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien, where the quake struck just offshore around 8 am (0000 GMT) as people were going to work and school.

But the latest report by the fire department said nine people have died and 882 others injured in Hualien County, while 131 people remain trapped, some in collapsed buildings in Hualien.

Taiwan television stations showed footage of buildings at precarious angles in Hualien. The quake was centred just off the east coast at a depth of 15.5km (9.6 miles), according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration.

President-elect Lai Ching-te, who takes office next month, would visit Hualien later on Wednesday, the Presidency said.

Japan’s weather agency, which put the earthquake’s magnitude at 7.7, said several small tsunami waves reached parts of the southern prefecture of Okinawa.

Electricity operator Taipower said most power had been restored, adding that the island’s two nuclear power stations were not affected by the temblor.

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