Powerful Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, Leaving Death And Destruction

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Taiwan was rocked by a powerful earthquake on Wednesday, resulting in at least seven deaths and nearly 730 injuries, as buildings were damaged and tsunami warnings were issued for neighbouring regions.

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  • The earthquake, reported as the strongest to hit the island in decades, struck just before 8:00 am local time, with its epicentre located south of Taiwan’s Hualien City. Among the casualties were hikers crushed by boulders and a truck driver caught in a landslide.
  • The tremors caused significant structural damage, with buildings swaying and collapsing in various parts of the country. Dramatic images circulated on social media, showing the aftermath of the quake, including tilting structures and crumbled infrastructure.
  • President Tsai Ing-wen called for coordinated efforts between local and central government agencies, with the national army providing support. The National Fire Agency confirmed the death toll and reported numerous injuries, while measures were taken to ensure public safety, including gas leak checks and transportation advisories.
  • Tsunami warnings were initially issued for Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines, though they were later lifted as the threat subsided. Nearby regions, including China’s Fujian province and Hong Kong, also reported feeling the earthquake, prompting concerns and responses from neighbouring countries.
  • The earthquake briefly interrupted operations at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest chip maker, and halted construction activities at various sites. The incident underscores the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to natural disasters in the region.
  • Taiwan, situated near tectonic plate junctions, regularly experiences earthquakes, with neighbouring Japan similarly prone to seismic activity. The severity of such events underscores the importance of disaster preparedness and response efforts.

While the immediate focus remains on rescue and recovery efforts, the earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the region’s susceptibility to natural disasters and the importance of proactive measures to mitigate their impact.

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