Breaking News: Taiwan Shaken by Deadly Earthquake – 4 Dead, Injured

Tokyo: The national fire agency reports that four people have died as a result of Wednesday’s strong earthquake in Taiwan. The epicenter of the earthquake, Hualien County, is where all of the deaths happened. Three of the victims died while trekking, and one died in a highway tunnel.

Authorities declared that the earthquake and its subsequent powerful aftershocks were the worst to hit the island in decades and issued a warning of additional tremors in the days to come.

“The earthquake is shallow and occurs near land. The director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Center, Wu Chien-fu, stated that the earthquake was felt throughout Taiwan including offshore islands.

Given that the island is located close to the meeting point of two tectonic plates, strict building codes and disaster awareness seem to have prevented a significant tragedy.

Wu stated that the earthquake was the strongest since a 7.6-magnitude one that occurred in September 1999, the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the island, killing around 2,400 people.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that the epicentre of Wednesday’s magnitude 7.4 earthquake was 34.8 kilometers deep and located 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien City, Taiwan. The earthquake occurred immediately before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT).

“I wanted to flee, but I had no clothes on. That was really powerful,” remarked Kelvin Hwang, a visitor to a hotel in Taipei’s capital who took refuge in the ninth-floor elevator lobby.

Shared videos and pictures of buildings trembling around the nation went viral on social media as soon as the earthquake occurred.
After it ended, dramatic pictures of multi-story buildings in Hualien and other places tilting over were broadcast on local television.

There have been reports of landslides blocking roads leading to Hualien, a 100,000-person coastal city surrounded by mountains.

One person on a hiking trail was reportedly crushed to death by a loose boulder, according to the Central Emergency Operations Center, which also stated that about 60 individuals had received treatment for injuries sustained during the earthquake.

Authorities in Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines first issued a tsunami warning, however the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center declared that the threat had “largely passed” by around 10 am (0200 GMT).

The metro in the nation’s capital briefly stopped operating but soon resumed, and local borough leaders issued cautions to citizens to check for any gas leaks.

Because Taiwan is located close to the meeting point of two tectonic plates, it is frequently struck by earthquakes; Japan, to the north, receives about 1,500 shockwaves annually.

Social media users in the eastern Chinese province of Fujian, which borders the southern province of Guangdong, as well as other places, reported feeling powerful earthquakes across the Taiwan Strait.

According to state news agency Xinhua, China, which views self-ruled Taiwan as a colony gone wild, was “paying close attention” to the earthquake and “willing to provide disaster relief assistance”.

Although the damage caused by earthquakes varies depending on the location and depth of the epicentre under the Earth’s surface, the majority of them in the area are minor.

The power of tsunamis, which are enormous, potentially catastrophic waves that can travel hundreds of kilometers per hour, is also dependent on a number of variables.

The largest recorded earthquake in Japan occurred in March 2011 off the northeast coast of the country and measured 9.0 magnitude. A tsunami brought on by the earthquake killed around 18,500 people or left many more missing.

The Fukushima nuclear facility experienced the biggest post-war disaster in Japan and the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl as a result of the 2011 tragedy, which also caused three reactors to melt down.

This year’s New Year’s Day earthquake in Japan was of a magnitude of 7.5, striking the Noto Peninsula and killing over 230 people—many of whom perished when older structures collapsed.

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