Strongest earthquake in 25 years hits Taiwan: deaths and injuries reported

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All the deaths occurred in Hualien County, the epicenter of the earthquake. Three of them died on a hiking trail, and one died in a highway tunnel, the agency said.

More than 711 people were injured, according to updated figures from the Taipei Emergency Operations Center.

VIDEO: Taiwan has been rocked by the strongest earthquake in 25 years

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami threat from a strong earthquake in Taiwan had passed, while authorities in Taipei initially said no injuries or deaths had been reported.

Photo by Ignos Kalnietis/Earthquake in Taiwan

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck just before 8 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m. Lithuanian time) and caused a tsunami hazard in Taiwan, southern Japan and the Philippines.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 18 km south of the Taiwanese city of Hualien at a depth of 34.8 km.

10 o’clock 3 minutes Taiwan (5:30 a.m. Lithuania) time, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami threat had largely passed, but people near the coasts should remain alert.

Around 10 o’clock 14 minutes Taiwan (5:14 a.m. Lithuanian) time, an alert sent by the authorities said that “the tsunami caused by the earthquake has gradually reached the coast of Taiwan.”

“People living in coastal areas are reminded to be vigilant, take strict precautions and pay attention to the dangers of sudden wave surges,” it added.

A fire official in Hualien County, near the epicenter, told AFP that two buildings had collapsed and some people were believed to be trapped.

Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said in a televised national announcement that 26 buildings had been reported toppling or collapsing.

One person was feared dead and more than 50 people were injured, according to information released by the Taipei Emergency Operations Center.

One person is believed to have died after being crushed by a boulder in the mountainous Hualien County, the center said.

Earthquakes are common on the island of Taiwan, and its residents are accustomed to frequent aftershocks.

The strongest in 25 years

A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Taiwan on Wednesday morning, sending tsunami threats to the self-governing island as well as parts of southern Japan and the Philippines.

AFP/Scanpix photo/Earthquake in Taiwan

AFP/Scanpix photo/Earthquake in Taiwan

The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned that outlying Japanese islands in the region, including Miyako Island, are at risk of tsunami waves up to three meters high.

The initial tremor was felt across Taiwan, and aftershocks, including a 6.5-magnitude earthquake near the city of Hualien, were also felt in Taipei, according to the Taiwan Meteorological Agency.

Metro services in the capital stopped briefly, but trains resumed running an hour later and residents received warnings from local district leaders to check for gas leaks.

“I wanted to run out, but I wasn’t dressed. It was so strong,” said guest Kelvin Hwang at the hotel center.

Officials said the quake was the island’s strongest in decades.

“This earthquake is near land and shallow. It is felt throughout Taiwan and neighboring islands,” said Wu Chien-fu, director of the Seismology Center of the Taipei Central Meteorological Department.

“It is the strongest in 25 years since the (1999) earthquake,” he told reporters.

In September 1999, Taiwan was hit by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake, which killed about 2,400 people. of human lives and became the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the island.

Wu Chien-fu warned that authorities are not ruling out the possibility of earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 to 7 relatively close to land within three days.

“The public should pay attention to relevant warnings and messages and prepare for earthquake evacuation,” he said.


The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Strongest earthquake years hits Taiwan deaths injuries reported

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