Taiwan Struck by ‘Strongest’ Earthquake in 25 Years: 9 Dead, 736 Injured

JNS: A powerful earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter Scale jolted Taiwan on Wednesday, claiming the lives of at least nine people and injuring 736 others. This seismic event is the strongest to hit the region in the past 25 years.

The quake originated just off the coast of Hualien County at approximately 7:58 am, sending shockwaves and panic throughout the area. Images and videos circulating on social media depict the extent of the destruction caused by the earthquake.

Multiple buildings collapsed in Taiwan, trapping several individuals under the rubble. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake as having a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicenter located 18 kilometers south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 kilometers. Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Center, stated that the earthquake was felt across Taiwan and its offshore islands, marking it as the strongest in a quarter-century.

Rescue operations are currently underway to save those trapped in the rubble. “The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands… It’s the strongest in 25 years,” said Wu Chien Fu in an interview with BBC.

The National Fire Agency reported to British media that three individuals died on a trail around Taroko National Park, named after a prominent gorge located just outside Hualien.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen assured that disaster response teams are actively engaged in rescue operations. “Disaster response is underway following this morning’s 7.2 earthquake and aftershocks. I’m deeply grateful for the messages of support we have received from around the world, and to our first responders for their life-saving work,” the President shared on X.

In 1999, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, resulting in the deaths of 2,400 people and causing damage to 5,000 buildings.

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