Taiwan Earthquake Updates : Numerous individuals, many of whom were in tunnels that went through the mountains that split the island in half from north to south, were thought to be safe but were inaccessible in areas cut off by large landslides caused by the earthquake.

A strong earthquake in Taiwan on Wednesday caused damage to dozens of structures, triggered tsunami warnings that reached Japan and the Philippines before being withdrawn, and left at least nine dead and over a thousand injured.

Numerous individuals, many of whom were in tunnels that went through the mountains that split the island in half from north to south, were thought to be safe but were inaccessible in areas cut off by large landslides caused by the earthquake.

Ahead of additional tremors in the coming days, officials indicated that the earthquake was the worst to strike the island in decades.

The earthquake-prone island, which is located close to the meeting point of two tectonic plates, appears to have avoided a big calamity thanks to strict building controls and widespread public disaster awareness.

The 50 people inside the printing press warehouse near the capital that practically collapsed in the earthquake said, “We were very lucky,” according to a woman going by the surname Chang.

“Many of the decorations at home fell on the floor, but people were safe.”

The earthquake was the strongest since a 7.6-magnitude one that struck in September 1999, killing almost 2,400 people in the greatest natural disaster in the island’s history, according to Wu Chien-fu, director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Center.

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).

According to officials, three members of a party of seven who were hiking in the surrounding hills early in the morning were crushed to death by boulders that had been loosened by the earthquake.

Three people lost their lives while driving as a result of falling boulders striking their cars, and one person perished in a mine quarry.

The National Fire Agency stated that all of the deaths had occurred in the county of Hualien and that 1,011 individuals had been injured throughout Taiwan, however it was not stated to what extent.

Shared footage and pictures of buildings wobbling during the earthquake from all over the island were all over social media.

One man in Hualien told broadcaster SET TV, “It was shaking violently, the paintings on the wall, my TV and liquor cabinet fell.”

On local television, there were striking pictures of multi-story buildings in Hualien and other places that were tilting after the earthquake, as well as the collapse of a printing warehouse in New Taipei City.

More than fifty individuals, according to the mayor there, had been safely pulled from the building’s wreckage.

On the major route to Hualien, a 300,000-person coastal county surrounded by mountains and cut off by landslides, local TV stations featured bulldozers moving rocks.

Numerous robustly constructed tunnels, some spanning several kilometers, connect the main thoroughfares to Hualien’s city center. According to authorities, dozens of people may be stuck in cars within these tunnels.

There was a Hualien quarry where scores of miners were likewise out of reach.

Vice-President-elect Lai Ching-te told reporters in Hualien, “We must carefully check how many people are trapped and we must rescue them quickly.”

As night fell, the county was still feeling aftershocks as searchers searched amid the wreckage.

The renowned Taipei 101 commercial building in Taiwan’s capital was lit up in remembrance of the earthquake victims.

In a post published late at night, President Tsai Ing-wen cautioned, “Do not go to the mountains unless necessary.”

“Aftershocks may occur in the next few days and everyone, please be vigilant and watch out for your own safety.”

By newsparviews.com

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