7.2 magnitude earthquake shatters Taiwan, kills 4 people, injures hundreds

Taiwan was struck by a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, marking the most severe tremor to hit the island in over two decades.

The quake claimed four lives and left hundreds injured, prompting a tsunami warning for southern Japan and the Philippines, which was fortunately lifted shortly after.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located off the eastern coast, near the mountainous and thinly populated county of Hualien.

Reports from Taiwan’s government indicated that four individuals lost their lives in this region, with an additional 711 sustaining injuries. Tragically, 77 people remained trapped in collapsed buildings, awaiting rescue efforts.

Eyewitnesses described the terrifying moments as buildings swayed precariously and landslides cascaded down hillsides.

“It was very strong. It felt as if the house was going to topple,” shared Chang Yu-lin, a 60-year-old hospital worker from Taipei.

President-elect Lai Ching-te announced plans to visit Hualien later in the day, emphasizing the government’s commitment to aiding affected areas.

Rescue operations were underway, with footage showing emergency responders using ladders to assist individuals stranded in damaged structures.

The earthquake’s impact reverberated beyond Taiwan’s borders, with reports of shaking felt as far as mainland China and Japan.

In Japan’s southern prefecture of Okinawa, small tsunami waves were observed following the quake, prompting precautionary measures.

Despite the widespread disruption, essential services began to resume normal operations.

Taiwan’s electricity provider announced the restoration of power across most areas, while the high-speed rail service reported no significant damage or injuries.

The seismic event evoked haunting memories of Taiwan’s deadliest earthquake in 1999, which claimed thousands of lives and caused extensive destruction.

With its intensity classified as an “Upper 6” on the scale, the recent quake underscored the region’s vulnerability to seismic activity.

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