Taiwan shaken by severe quake: casualties and aftermath

A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.4 hit Taiwan: it is the strongest in the last 25 years. According to a provisional toll there would be 4 dead and 97 injured

A devastating 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coast of Taiwan, resulting in four deaths and injuring 97 others, as per the latest available report. The quake’s epicenter was pinpointed 18 km southeast of Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 km, making it the strongest to hit the region in the last 25 years.

Victims reported in Hualien county

In Hualien County, the casualties were a direct result of falling boulders on a mountain trail, claiming three lives, while a fourth individual was discovered deceased in a highway tunnel.

Following the severe tremor, three tsunami warnings were issued for Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines, though, fortunately, these were later withdrawn. The earthquake led to the collapse of at least two buildings and damaged others in the most affected county, with some individuals trapped under the debris.

Aftermath: a series of aftershocks

In Taipei, two individuals were rescued from a stuck elevator in a damaged building within the Zhongshan district, and seven people were saved from a collapsed residential structure in Xindian district, New Taipei City.

The national fire agency of Taiwan has reported at least 26 buildings as “tilted or collapsed” in the wake of the quake. Over 87,000 people in Hualien were left without electricity, though details remain fragmented.

Japanese authorities halted flights at Naha Airport, the main airport in Okinawa Prefecture, as a precautionary response to the tsunami alert. The quake’s impact was also felt in China, reaching as far as Shanghai, and triggered three additional 5.7 magnitude tremors off the eastern coasts of Taiwan.

Military Activity and International Response

The Taiwanese military has observed an increase in Chinese military activities around the island, with 30 aircraft and 9 warships detected in the area. China has offered its sincere condolences to those affected by the disaster and has stated its readiness to provide assistance if necessary.

The situation continues to be closely monitored by local and international authorities, while relief and restoration efforts are underway to address the aftermath of the earthquake and ensure the safety of the affected population.

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