Nine people died in a strong earthquake in Taiwan / Diena

Nine people died in a strong earthquake in Taiwan / Diena
Nine people died in a strong earthquake in Taiwan / Diena
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127 people are trapped in tunnels and building ruins, according to the state fire service.

The US Geological Survey reports that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.4, its epicenter was offshore 18 kilometers south of the city of Hualien, and the hypocenter was 34.8 kilometers deep. The earthquake occurred around 8 am local time (3 am Latvian time).

Strict building regulations and preparedness for natural disasters appear to have helped avoid major casualties in earthquake-prone Taiwan.

After the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued for Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, which were later withdrawn.

The Japan Meteorological Agency put the earthquake at magnitude 7.5, while the Taiwan Earthquake Monitoring Agency put it at 7.2.

The earthquake collapsed several buildings in the city of Hualien. Train services across Taiwan and subway services in Taipei were temporarily suspended, but the situation in the capital soon returned to normal and traffic resumed.

In the mountains near Hualien, three of the seven people who had gone hiking in the mountains died. A truck driver and a car driver also lost their lives in this region, whose vehicles were buried by a landslide. Another person died in the mine.

The State Fire Service has not yet released more information about the other three deaths, but said all the deaths were recorded in Hualien County. All cases of people trapped in rubble or tunnels are also in the area, where more than 100 aftershocks were recorded in the eight hours after the quake.

Two Germans were also trapped in a tunnel in a park north of Hualien, but authorities did not release more information about them.

The main roads leading to the city wind through a vast system of tunnels, some of which are kilometers long. Officials said up to 120 people could be trapped in vehicles in the tunnels.

The earthquake was followed by many aftershocks, one of which was as strong as 6.5 magnitude. Officials have warned that more aftershocks are possible in the coming days.

TSMC, Taiwan’s largest semiconductor maker, halted production after the earthquake to inspect production lines after workers were evacuated. Production was also stopped by the “Powerchip” company.

Dramatic images of leaning high-rise buildings in Hualien and elsewhere in Taiwan were shown on local television. The video shows bulldozers clearing the roads to Hualien, which were cut off from the outside world by landslides.

Engineers are also in a hurry to repair the main railway line south of the capital. It is torn in several places.

Dozens of buildings were damaged in the earthquake, including a collapsed warehouse near Taipei, from which more than 50 people were rescued, a local official said.

Taiwan President Cai Inwen called on local and central government agencies to cooperate and said the military would also provide support.

Following the earthquake, small tsunamis hit three remote islands in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. The main airport on the island of Okinawa suspended flights following a tsunami warning.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) previously warned that, “based on preliminary earthquake parameters, (..) dangerous tsunami waves are possible within 300 kilometers of the earthquake’s epicenter”. The service later said the tsunami threat had passed.

The earthquake was also felt in China’s Fujian Province and Hong Kong.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes because the island is located near the meeting point of two tectonic plates.

In September 1999, about 2,400 people died in a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. It was the biggest natural disaster in the island’s history in terms of casualties.

Wu Qianfu, director of the Taipei Seismological Center, told reporters that Wednesday morning’s earthquake was the strongest in 25 years.

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The article is in Latvian

Tags: people died strong earthquake Taiwan Diena

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