4 dead as big earthquake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years

4 dead as big earthquake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years
4 dead as big earthquake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years
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At least four people were killed and dozens of others were injured after an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan on Wednesday, which also triggered a tsunami in Japan’s Yonaguni Island. This is the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years since a 7.2-magnitude temblor struck the country’s Nantou county in 1999, killing more than 2,500 people and injuring over 1,300 others.

Local fire department officials said the four people died in Hualien county, the earthquake’s epicentre, the Associated Press reported.

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According to the Reuters news agencymore than 50 people were injured as a result of falling rocks in Hualien.

The earthquake also damaged buildings in Hualien, while train services were suspended across Taiwan. Options were given to schools and government offices to cancel classes and work.

While the US Geological Survey (USGS) said the temblor’s magnitude was 7.4, Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency said it measured 7.2 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake struck at 7.58 am, about 18 km south-southwest of Hualien and was about 35 km deep.

The USGS said multiple aftershocks hit Taipei, including one that was 6.5 magnitude and about 11.8 km deep.

A five-storey building in Hualien partially collapsed to the first floor, leaving the building tilted at a 45-degree angle.

Videos have emerged on social media of the tilted building.

Meanwhile, train services were also suspended across Taiwan and in the capital Taipei, there were reports of tiles falling from buildings.

The Associated Press reported that the national legislature, a converted school built before World War II, also had damage to walls and ceilings.

The earthquake also triggered a landslide, the footage of which has gone viral on social media.

In Japan, authorities said a tsunami wave measuring about 1 foot was detected on Yonaguni Island about 15 minutes after the earthquake struck Taiwan.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) had issued a tsunami warning for residents of the coastal areas of Okinawa prefecture and warned that tsunami waves of up to 3 meters were expected to reach the country’s southwestern coast.

According to the JMA, this was the first tsunami warning in Okinawa in 26 years, with the last one issued in 1998 after a 7.7 earthquake struck south of Ishigaki Island.

But the Agency downgraded the warning to an advisory later.

Japan’s Self-Defense Force has scrambled aircraft to monitor the impact of the tsunami and was also preparing evacuation shelters.

The country’s flag carrier, Japan Airlines has suspended all flights from the Okinawa and Kagoshima regions, and diverted the ones that were heading to areas where the tsunami advisories were in place.

A spokesperson from Okinawa’s Naha Airport confirmed to CNN that all flights were diverted, while employees and personnel were evacuated to the third floor in anticipation of the tsunami’s impact.

While China has not issued any tsunami warnings for the mainland, the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat to Hawaii or Guam.

Published By:

Karishma Saurabh Kalita

Published On:

Apr 3, 2024

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: dead big earthquake hits Taiwan strongest years

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