Taiwan: Rescue efforts continue after earthquake

Rescue efforts continue after a powerful earthquake hit Taiwan’s east coast on Wednesday, killing at least four people

7.4 magnitude earthquake hits the region It left scores of dead and destroyed buildings in the nearest city, Hualien.

Taiwan’s mountainous region also felt the island’s strongest earthquake in 25 years, with major earthquakes.

In the city of Taipei, images show buildings shaking violently.

“The earthquake is close to land and its location is shallow. It was felt all over Taiwan and the coastal islands… This is the strongest in the last 25 years,” said Wu Jianfu, director of Taipei Earthquake. Centre.

The National Fire Service said three people died on a hiking trail around Taroko National Park, named for the iconic lake outside Hualien.

The agency added that more than 50 people were injured, some trapped in buildings and tunnels around the city.

Taiwanese chip manufacturing giant TSMC said that it evacuated some of its factories in Hsinchu and southern Taiwan for the safety of its employees, but that the security systems were working normally. TSMC is a major semiconductor manufacturer for technology companies such as Apple and Nvidia.

Apple to Foxconn There was no immediate response to the BBC’s request for comment.

The earthquake initially triggered a tsunami warning. The island and its neighbors.

In Taipei, local media images showed buildings collapsing and people being evacuated from their homes and schools. The impact of the earthquake also caused cars to crash and items to be thrown out of stores, according to a video released by local TVBS.

Power outages and blackouts have occurred across the island, according to internet watchdog NetBlocks. .

The earthquake, which occurred at 07:58 local time (23:58 GMT) on Wednesday at a depth of 15.5 kilometers, caused at least nine aftershocks, also with magnitude 4 or higher. The quake’s epicenter was about 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hualien is located in a mountainous region on the east coast of Taiwan. The city area is sparsely populated. Rescue teams will be sent to the area as highways and railway lines connecting Hualien to the rest of Taiwan are now paralyzed.

In September 1999, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in Taiwan, killing 2,400 people and destroying 5,000 buildings.

In neighboring Japan, authorities had previously warned that a 3-metre-high tsunami was expected to reach a wide area off the west coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency later downgraded the rating to warning but urged residents to “be alert for the return of similar efforts” within a week.

The Philippine seismological agency also issued a tsunami warning shortly after the earthquake, urging residents to evacuate to higher ground, which was later cancelled.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that the tsunami threat “is now over” about two hours after the earthquake.

Chinese media reported that the earthquake passed and was felt in the Fujian province region of southern China.

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