Taiwan’s Strongest Quake in 25 Years: 4 Dead, Dozens Hurt


Strongest Quake

Image Source: 

A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted Taiwan on Wednesday, marking the most intense seismic event to hit the island in a quarter-century. The temblor, centered in the mountainous region of eastern Hualien county, claimed the lives of four individuals and left over 50 others injured. 

The quake, which struck offshore around 8 am local time, resulted in the collapse of at least 26 buildings. Rescue efforts are ongoing to extricate roughly 20 individuals trapped beneath the rubble.

Taiwanese television broadcasts depicted scenes of buildings tilted at precarious angles in Hualien, illustrating the impact of the seismic upheaval. Despite the gravity of the situation, the government reported no significant damage from the ensuing tsunami warning issued for southern Japan and the Philippines, a precaution that was later lifted.

While Japan’s weather agency observed minor tsunami waves along parts of the southern prefecture of Okinawa, subsequent assessments downgraded the initial tsunami warning to an advisory.

Similarly, the Philippines Seismology Agency urged residents in coastal areas to seek higher ground, though no substantial damage was reported.

The seismic activity reverberated beyond Taiwan’s borders, with tremors felt across mainland China and Japan. Aftershocks continued to ripple through Taipei and neighboring regions, with over 25 aftershocks recorded by Taiwan’s central weather administration.

Responding swiftly to the earthquake, Taiwan implemented emergency measures, including evacuations and safety inspections. Despite disruptions to some sectors, such as semiconductor manufacturing, essential services like transportation and power remained largely unaffected, demonstrating the government’s efficient crisis management.

This seismic event is the most significant to hit Taiwan since 1999, when a 7.6-magnitude tremor wrought widespread devastation, claiming thousands of lives and causing extensive structural damage. 

Reflecting the severity of the current quake, Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration rated its intensity as an “Upper 6” on the seismic scale, indicating substantial structural damage and significant challenges to mobility and stability.

As Taiwan grapples with the aftermath of this seismic event, the nation braces for potential aftershocks while focusing on rescue and recovery operations in the affected areas.