Taiwan: Rescue efforts continue after earthquake


View the footage of the Taiwan earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale at the exact moment it occurred.

Written by Kelly Ng and Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, the following blog post has been paraphrased in simplified English. Kelly Ng and Rupert Wingfield-Hayes wrote a blog post, which has been rewritten in easier language.

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Taiwan is currently engaged in rescue operations following a strong earthquake that occurred on Wednesday, causing the death of a minimum of four individuals, along its eastern coasts.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 resulted in the collapse of various constructions in Hualien, which is the nearest city to the center of the earthquake.

The most powerful earthquake to strike the island in a quarter of a century was also noticeable in Taiwan's mountainous terrain, causing massive landslides.

In Taipei, the camera captured the sight of buildings shaking with great force.

According to Wu Chien Fu, who serves as Taipei's Seismology Center director, the earthquake happened near the shore and it's not deep in the ground. The tremors can be felt in Taiwan and islands in the surrounding area. He also mentioned that it's the most intense earthquake that happened in the past 25 years.

According to the National Fire Agency, three individuals lost their lives on a hiking route near Taroko National Park, which is known for its iconic gorge located near Hualien.

The agency stated that over 50 individuals suffered injuries and a few of them are stuck in buildings and tunnels in different parts of the city.

TSMC, a huge company in Taiwan that produces chips, has moved some of its factories in Hsinchu and southern Taiwan to ensure the safety of its employees. However, they have made it clear that their safety mechanisms are working as usual. TSMC plays an important role in creating semiconductors for technology companies such as Nvidia and Apple.

Foxconn, a company that provides components to Apple, has not given a response to BBC's inquiry at this time.

Beforehand, the seismic activity triggered alerts for potential tsunamis on the island and nearby nations.

A building located in Hualien city that has partially fallen down.

News reports from Taipei reveal images of residential buildings that have collapsed, while residents and students have been forced to evacuate their homes and schools. The earthquake has also caused significant damage to vehicles and disrupted the organization of items in local shops, as can be seen in footage shown by TVBS.

NetBlocks, a monitoring organization for internet connectivity has confirmed that numerous incidents of power interruptions and internet shutdowns have taken place throughout the entire island.

The seismic event has caused landslides in the extremely hilly inland region of Taiwan.

On Wednesday, there was an earthquake that occurred at 07:58 in the morning, which is the local time. Based on the Greenwich Mean Time, it happened at 23:58. The earthquake's depth was at 15.5km, and it caused several aftershocks, with at least nine being of magnitude 4 or higher. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicentre of the earthquake is roughly 18km or 11 miles south of Hualien.

Hualien can be found on the east coast of Taiwan and the landscape is mostly composed of mountains that cover a vast area. The cities in and around this region are not densely populated. Due to the fact that important highways and railway systems that link Hualien to other areas of Taiwan were destroyed, emergency responders are expected to gain access to the affected area using aerial means.

In the month of September in the year 1999, an earthquake of the magnitude 7.6 shook Taiwan, which caused the untimely demise of 2,400 individuals and the demolition of 5,000 structures.

Located in the urban area of New Taipei City is an apartment building worth noting. It is situated within the confines of a bustling metropolis, surrounded by skyscrapers and adjacent to numerous commercial establishments. The apartment complex boasts of several floors, and each floor houses various units perfect for small families or student tenants. This residential edifice is a prime example of modern city living, providing comfortable and convenient abodes for its residents.

The authorities in Japan had issued a prior caution stating that the coastal areas located in the southwest could face a possibility of receiving high waves, reaching up to a height of 3 meters, due to the impact of a potential tsunami.

Afterwards, the Japan Meteorological Agency lessened the warning, yet advised locals to stay cautious of subsequent earthquakes that are similarly strong for approximately one week.

The earthquake in the Philippines prompted the country's seismology agency to release a warning of a possible tsunami. The agency advised individuals to move to higher areas immediately. However, they later revoked the warning.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center gave an update two hours after the earthquake stating that the danger of a tsunami has diminished.

According to Chinese government-controlled news outlets, vibrations were detected in certain areas located in the south-eastern part of Fujian province in China.

Further coverage provided by Peter Hoskins based in Singapore.

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