Taiwan

This picture taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on April 3, 2024 reveals a broken structure in Hualien, after a significant earthquake struck Taiwan’s east (Credit: AFP)

A minimum of 4 individuals were feared dead and almost 60 were hurt on Wednesday by an effective earthquake in Taiwan that harmed lots of structures and triggered tsunami cautions that reached Japan and the Philippines before being raised.

Authorities stated the quake and series of strong aftershocks were the greatest to shake the island in years and cautioned of more tremblings in the days ahead.

“The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and overseas islands,” stated the director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Centre, Wu Chien-fu.

Rigorous structure policies and catastrophe awareness appear to have actually warded off a significant disaster for the island, which is frequently struck by earthquakes as it lies near the junction of 2 tectonic plates.

Wu stated the quake was the greatest given that among 7.6-magnitude struck in September 1999, eliminating around 2,400 individuals in the most dangerous natural catastrophe in the island’s history.

Wednesday’s magnitude-7.4 quake struck right before 8:00 a.m. regional time (0000 GMT), with the United States Geological Survey putting the epicentre 18 kilometres (11 miles) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 kilometres.

“I wished to go out, however I wasn’t dressed. That was so strong,” stated Kelvin Hwang, a visitor at a hotel in the capital, Taipei, who looked for shelter in the lift lobby on the ninth flooring.

Social network was awash with shared videos and images from around the nation of structures swaying as the quake struck.

Remarkable images were revealed on regional television of multi-storey structures in Hualien and in other places leaning over after it ended.

Roadways to Hualien, a mountain-ringed seaside city of around 100,000 individuals were reported obstructed by landslides.

The Central Emergency Operations Center stated a single person on a treking path was thought to have actually been squashed to death by a dislodged stone, including almost 60 individuals had actually been dealt with for quake-related injuries.

In Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, authorities at first provided a tsunami caution however by around 10 am (0200 GMT), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated the danger had actually “mostly passed”.

In the capital, the city briefly stopped running however resumed within an hour, while citizens got cautions from their regional district chiefs to look for any gas leakages.

Taiwan is frequently struck by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of 2 tectonic plates, while close-by Japan experiences around 1,500 shocks every year.

Throughout the Taiwan Strait, social networks users in China’s eastern province of Fujian, which surrounds the southern province of Guangdong, and somewhere else stated they likewise felt strong tremblings.

China, which sees self-ruled Taiwan as an abandoner province, was “paying very close attention” to the quake and “going to supply catastrophe relief support,” state news company Xinhua stated.

The huge bulk of quakes around the location are moderate, although the damage they trigger differs according to the depth of the epicentre listed below the Earth’s surface area and its area.

The seriousness of tsunamis– large and possibly devastating series of waves that can move at numerous kilometres per hour– likewise depends upon several elements.

Japan’s most significant earthquake on record was an enormous 9.0-magnitude undersea shock in March 2011 off Japan’s northeast coast, which activated a tsunami that left around 18,500 individuals dead or missing.

The 2011 disaster likewise sent out 3 reactors into crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, triggering Japan’s worst post-war catastrophe and the most severe nuclear mishap given that Chernobyl.

Japan saw a significant quake on New Year’s Day this year when a 7.5-magnitude trembling struck the Noto Peninsula and eliminated more than 230 individuals, a number of them when older structures collapsed.

AFP

Find out more