Taiwan earthquake – latest: Rescuers race to save dozens trapped in tunnels as nine confirmed dead

Buildings partially collapsed after 7.4-magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

Dozens are understood to be trapped in highway tunnels after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast, which has seen nine people confirmed dead and more than 900 injured.

Tremors set off at least nine landslides and debris collapsed hillsides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, which runs down the east coast.

According to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency (NFA), people are trapped in two road tunnels along the Suhua Highway- one of the most dangerous roads in Taiwan, straddling between the mountainside and ocean.

Rescue teams are working to get to those trapped, with CNN reporting that 75 people who were stranded in various tunnels had been rescued in the morning.

The earthquake – the strongest in 25 years in Taiwan – set off tsunami warnings on the island and across neighbouring countries, seismology officials said.

More than 77 people remain trapped under the rubble after the quake caused widespread damage and power outages across the country.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.58am local time, was located about 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, said the US Geological Survey. The USGS measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.4, though Taiwan’s own monitoring agency put it at 7.2.

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Taiwan quake felt by surrounding countries

Wednesday’s earthquake that struck Taiwan’s east coast was measured at a 7.4-magnitude, which was felt by neighbouring nations.

In Japan, the weather agency put the quake’s magnitude at 7.7, saying several small tsunami waves reached parts of the southern prefecture of Okinawa. The tsunami warnings were later downgraded to an advisory.

In the Philippines, seismology officials warned coastal residents in several provinces to move to higher ground.

Chinese state media also said the quake was felt in the southeastern province of Fujian, while a Reuters witness said it was also felt in the commercial hub of Shanghai.

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 20:00

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‘God has to be fair’

Linda Chen, 48, told news agency Reuters that her apartment in downtown Hualien city had been so badly damaged in an earlier earthquake in 2018 that they had to move house.

Her new apartment block was also damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake. Nine people have been killed and more than 900 people were injured, according to authorities.

“We worry the house could collapse anytime,” Ms Chen told Reters.

“We thought we had already experienced it once in Hualien and it would not hit us again, because God has to be fair. We are frightened. We are so nervous.”

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 19:33

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Pictured: Collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan

Workers walk at the site where a building collapsed, following an earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan

(REUTERS)

Alexander Butler3 April 2024 17:51

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Woman died trying saving cat

A Taiwanese woman died in the earthquake after going back into a collapsing building to save her cat, according to local media reports.

The woman, named as Kang, was found stuck under a beam. There was no response after being called by search and rescue personnel, according to Sanli News.

Alexander Butler3 April 2024 17:17

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Beijing offers aid to Taiwan

Beijing expressed “heartfelt condolences” and offered aid to Taipei following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that has left up to 963 dead.

Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said the mainland was closely monitoring developments and is willing to provide support for disaster relief efforts.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.58am local time, was located about 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, said the US Geological Survey.

Alexander Butler3 April 2024 17:02

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US ready to provide ‘any necessary assistance’

The United States will provide Taiwan with “any necessary assistance” and it is monitoring the earthquake’s potential impact on Japan.

US national security council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said: “We are monitoring reports of the earthquake impacting Taiwan and continue to monitor its potential impact on Japan.

“The United States stands ready to provide any necessary assistance. All those affected are in our prayers.”

Alexander Butler3 April 2024 16:47

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‘It was like a mountain collapsed’, survivor recounts earthquake

A survivor of the earthquake said a warehouse crumbling was like watching a mountain collapse, according to news agency AFP.

The witness, named by AFP only as Liu, watched intently as rescuers carefully picked their way through the remains of the warehouse.

Tremors set off at least nine landslides and debris collapsed hillsides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, which runs down the east coast of Taiwan.

Alexander Butler3 April 2024 16:44

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The wreckage of a printing company’s factory after it collapsed following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in New Taipei, Taiwan

(EPA)

Military personnel aiding in rescue and relief efforts by searching for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east

(Taiwan’s Military News Agency (M)

An employee clearing broken bottles on the floor of a supermarket in Yilan, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east

(CNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Stuti Mishra3 April 2024 15:30

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CCTV captures moment deadly Taiwan earthquake hits

CCTV captures moment deadly Taiwan earthquake hits

Stuti Mishra3 April 2024 15:00

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Taiwan earthquake in numbers

  • Nine people confirmed dead
  • At least 882 injured
  • More than 70 people remain trapped
  • Fifty people on minibuses missing after phone networks go down

Stuti Mishra3 April 2024 14:30

Reference

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