Taiwan wakes up to aftermath of worst earthquake in 25 years

Taiwan wakes up to aftermath of worst earthquake in 25 years
Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te inspects the damage following the earthquake, in HualienReuters

Taiwan’s citizens have woken up to the effects of its worst disaster in a fourth of a century.

Rescue efforts continued on Thursday after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island’s eastern coast on Wednesday at 07: 58 local time 23: 58 ( GMT ).

At least nine people were killed and more than 1, 000 injured when the quake hit 18km ( 11 miles ) south of Hualien.

More than a hundred persons are reportedly still trapped in shattered caves and bridges along the beach.

77 people were being reached by rescuers who were lying in the Jinwen and Qingshui caves along Hualien’s highway on Thursday night.

Images show how the road leading to the Qingshui tunnel had merely fallen away.

There are many small, winding roads and tunnels carved out of the stone and hills that run along Hualien’s rugged coastline.

The road is well-known among tourists and is known for its breathtaking sights from the hills out across the Pacific Ocean. But it is also known to be perilous, certainly least because of the possibility of mudslides.

Locals and tourists travel through one of the routes to the Taroko National Park, which is named after a famous canyon located just outside Hualien, which is considered one of Asia’s natural beauties. A hikers on a trail that killed three people, and 50 of the dead were hotel staff who were being taken to a well-known hotel before a four-day long weekend.

The length of time those inside the prison are locked up is unknown, nor may they converse with outsiders or receive food and water.

Composite image shows part of the road leading to the Qingshui Tunnel collapsed

The earthquake even triggered storm warnings in nearby Chinese and Asian islands earlier in the day on Wednesday, but they were eventually downgraded.

The distant place was even further cut off from the rest of Taiwan as a result of it, where structures fell, roads were blocked, and coach lines were disrupted.

” I was really getting out of bed when a clothes rack and a small case fell over”, Ocean Tsai, who lives in Hualien, told BBC Chinese. ” It kept getting stronger, and I started worrying about our stuff at home. Luckily, apart from the bike turning over, the harm was minimal”.

Immediately, unusual images of floods along the coast was available on social media. They slammed into the hills, causing enormous clouds to erupt as they slammed into the water.

Map of Taiwan showing areas hit most severely by earthquake

Farther north, Taipei was even violently shaken by footage showing collapsed home structures and people being evicted from their homes and schools. Local TV channels broadcast snippets of disorganized and crushed vehicles.

On the island, power outages and digital outages were reported.

” The disaster is close to land and it’s thin. It’s felt all over Taiwan and onshore islands… It’s the strongest in 25 times”, said Wu Chien Fu, the chairman of Taipei’s Seismology Centre.

Wednesday’s quake struck at a level of 15.5km and set off at least nine waves at scale 4 or larger.

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Although Taiwan has a background of earthquakes, residents of Taipei and immigrants who have lived there for ages claim this is the strongest earthquake they have experienced in generations.

The next major aftershock- at 7.6- scale- hit in September 1999, killing 2, 400 people and destroying 5, 000 properties.

Taiwan’s international business expressed gratitude for the assistance offers from “allies and buddies” like Japan and Paraguay in a statement released on X.

It even thanked China for its issue, but it assured that neither country would submit a request for assistance. Beijing asserts that the self-governing peninsula, which sees itself as different from China, is under its own rule.

Map showing Taiwan in relation to China, Japan and the Philippines

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