Taiwan was hit by a devastating earthquake, nine dead, 50 missing

Taiwan was hit by a devastating earthquake, nine dead, 50 missing
Taiwan was hit by a devastating earthquake, nine dead, 50 missing
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Commercial presentation Update: 04/03/2024 12:15 p.m
Issued by: 04/03/2024, 05:11

Taipei/Tokyo/Prague – A strong earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan on the night of today, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 800. 50 people are missing, Reuters reported. The tremors hit the entire island and destroyed many buildings. Taiwanese authorities are talking about the strongest earthquake in 25 years. Czech diplomacy has no information about any Czechs affected by the earthquake in Taiwan, Mariana Wernerová from the Department of Communications of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told ČTK.

After a few hours, the Japanese authorities canceled the tsunami warning for the arrival of the coast of the small islands in the south of the country. The Philippines also issued a warning against a destructive wave.

The USGS said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, while Japanese seismologists put it at 7.7 and Taiwan at 7.2. The epicenter was located 18 kilometers southeast of the port of Hualien in eastern Taiwan. The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck shortly before eight in the morning local time (before 02:00 CEST), was located at a depth of 35 kilometers, the AP agency reported.

Televisions showed images of some buildings in the city of Chua-lien, which were partially disintegrated or collapsed. According to local media, people remained trapped in them. In the metropolis of the island of Taipei, parts of some older houses and newer office buildings were falling away, AP writes. People in the capital also felt weaker aftershocks.

Rescuers use ladders to help get people trapped in damaged buildings out. Meanwhile, firefighters are evacuating people trapped in tunnels near the city of Chua-lien; there are also two German citizens among them. Taiwanese authorities said they had lost contact with 50 passengers traveling in two minibuses to a hotel in Taroko Gorge National Park. The authorities did not provide any details, Reuters wrote.

Taiwan’s air force reported that six F-16 fighter jets were slightly damaged by the tremors at its main base; however, the aircraft are expected to return to active service soon.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no news about affected Czechs. There are 88 Czech citizens registered in Taiwan in the Drozd travel system. According to Wernerová, there are no Czechs affected in Japan either.

Throughout Taiwan, which has a population of 23 million, train services were temporarily suspended and some regions lost electricity; it has already been restored in most areas. According to the authorities, the local nuclear power plants are out of danger.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, a major supplier of chips to Apple and Nvidia, said it had evacuated some production facilities due to the quake to ensure the safety of workers.

The nearest Japanese islands in the southern prefecture of Okinawa already reported the arrival of a tsunami wave approximately 30 centimeters high 15 minutes after the tremors. The authorities initially issued a warning of waves up to three meters high, but later canceled the warning. Operations at the airport in the Okinawan administrative center of Naha have been suspended until further notice. Japan reports no casualties or significant damage. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his participation on X Taiwan’s social network, saying his country is ready to provide all assistance to the island.

Earthquakes are quite common in Taiwan. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.6 claimed more than 2,400 lives in 1999. In February 2018, an earthquake on the east coast of Taiwan killed 15 people and injured at least 280 people, including two citizens of the Czech Republic.

Japan was hit by its last major earthquake earlier this year. The 7.6-magnitude event killed over 200 people and caused a meter-long tsunami and landslides.

Taiwan Japan earthquake disaster 3.VERSION

Tags: Taiwan hit devastating earthquake dead missing

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