Large earthquake strikes Taiwan

03 April, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT, ECCT staff writers


A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien County in eastern Taiwan at 07:58 on Wednesday. It was the largest earthquake to hit Taiwan since the 7.3 quake in 1999.


According to the Central Weather Administration (CWA), the epicentre of the temblor was located in the Pacific Ocean, 25 kilometres south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, according to the administration's Seismology Center.


The CWA said the strong quake has caused changes in water levels off the coast. The earthquake's intensity, which gauges the actual effect of a seismic event, was highest in Hualien, where it measured a 6+ on Taiwan's 7-tier intensity scale, the CWA said.


An intensity level of 5+ was reported in Yilan County in the northeast and in Miaoli County in the north, while 5- was reported in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City and Hsinchu County in the north, Taichung City, Changhua County and Nantou County in central Taiwan, the CWA added.

A series of aftershocks are continuing to shake the island. Many of the tremors measured between 3.4 and 5.7. Reports indicate that two buildings in Hualien City have suffered damage and are tilting to one side.


Officials say people are still trapped within one 8-story building on Hsuan-yuan Rd., and there are concerns that it may collapse. Media reports say some residents were seen making their way out of the tilted building on their own, while rescue efforts are currently underway.


Emergency workers are on the scene, and ladder trucks have been dispatched to reach those inside. The Ministry of National Defense has also dispatched military personnel to assist with the rescue. Meanwhile, the Hualien County government has announced a suspension of work and classes, as aftershocks may continue throughout the day. Several schools in Yilan have also suspended classes. New Taipei is continuing work and classes as normal.

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