Deadly 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Taiwan

A powerful earthquake struck off Taiwan’s east coast on Wednesday, resulting in rescue operations as the nation grapples with the aftermath. The 7.4 magnitude quake claimed at least four lives and caused multiple buildings to collapse in Hualien, the city nearest to the epicenter.

This seismic event, the most potent in 25 years, reverberated across the island, causing significant tremors felt even in Taiwan’s mountainous interior, triggering extensive landslides.

Footage from the capital city, Taipei, depicted buildings swaying violently as the quake shook the region.

“The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands… It’s the strongest in 25 years,” stated Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre.

According to the National Fire Agency, three fatalities occurred at a trail near Taroko National Park, which is named after a prominent gorge just outside Hualien.

Additionally, more than 50 individuals have sustained injuries, with some trapped in buildings and tunnels in the vicinity of the city, as per information provided by the agency.

TSMC, the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer, announced the evacuation of some of its factories in Hsinchu and southern Taiwan to ensure the safety of its staff. However, the company assured that its safety systems are functioning normally. TSMC is a key supplier of semiconductors for major tech companies such as Apple and Nvidia.

Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple, has not yet responded to the BBC’s request for comment regarding the earthquake. Prior to this, the earthquake triggered tsunami warnings across the island and neighboring regions.

TVBS A partially collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan
A partially collapsed building in Hualien city

Videos broadcasted on local media outlets in Taipei depict collapsed residential buildings and individuals being evacuated from their homes and schools. Additionally, footage shows vehicles damaged and store items scattered inside, indicating the disruptive impact of the earthquake, as reported by local broadcaster TVBS.

NetBlocks, an internet monitoring group, has reported power outages and internet disruptions occurring across the island in the aftermath of the earthquake.

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