Death toll from earthquake in Taiwan rises to 7 – Over 730 injured | Liberal


The death toll from the earthquake is increasing 7 Richter that hit Taiwan in the morningin the largest tremor in the last 25 years, as according to the government the death toll rose to seven, while the corresponding number of injuries rose to 736.

The earthquake caused the collapse of buildings mainly in Hualien County and led to the issuance of emergency tsunami warnings both on the island and in neighboring countries, notably southern Japan and the Philippines.

Tsunami warnings have now been lifted for both Japan and the Philippines, yet the earth still shakes as they have at least 58 aftershocks were recordedtwo of which were greater than six Richter.

Taiwan also issued a tsunami warning but reported no damage, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said the risk of a catastrophic tsunami has “now passed”.

At least 26 buildings have collapsed since the quake, most of them in Hualien, where about 80,000 homes are without power. The damage to the infrastructure is still enormous as roads, bridges and even a tunnel have collapsed.

Leaning buildings and risk of collapse

As Al Jazeera reports, there are also several landslides, but fortunately most of the areas where they occurred are quite sparsely populated. Also, a large number of buildings in the county are leaning and being closely monitored in case of further collapses.

Cages and dead in the Taroko Gorge

It is recalled that initially it was known that four people had lost their lives from the earthquake. According to the National Fire Service (NFA), MrThree of them were hiking in Taroko Canyon, a popular tourist destination, when rocks started falling, crushing them.

The fourth victim was a truck driver who was hit by rocks that fell out of a tunnel on the Suhua Highway, a major highway that runs along the steep cliffs of Taiwan’s east coast.

A section of the road outside the tunnel where the driver was killed had collapsed, according to earlier reports by Taiwanese television stations. The entire highway has been closed since the earthquake.

Alongside at least 77 people are trapped in the rubble across Taiwan after the strong earthquake according to NFA.

About 60 of the roughly 77 people trapped are in the Jinwen Tunnel in Hualien, according to the NFA. Separately, 15 people are trapped in the Daqingshui Tunnel, also in Hualien.

Among those trapped are citizens of foreign countries. In particular, two Canadians are among 12 people trapped in Taroko Gorge. The 12 people are waiting for rescue on Sakandang trail.

Two German citizens are trapped in a tunnel on the highway, the NFA said.

The authorities did not clarify the condition of the trapped, but they said rescue operations are underway.

Hualien blocked

The biggest problem lies in the fact that Hualien it is largely cut off from most of the rest of Taiwan.

Roads, bridges, tunnels have been severely damaged and it is very difficult for rescue crews to get there. In fact, the military has been called in to try to get aid and rescuers to the people who need them most.

One of the biggest concerns is the fact that this area is home to one of Taiwan’s largest military bases. The Ministry of Defense is taking stock of its military equipment to check for any damage. But there is concern that some of the military hardware or devices may have been affected.

The strongest earthquake of the last 25 years

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency described the earthquake as the largest to hit the island since 1999, when a 7.6 magnitude killed about 2,400 people and destroyed or damaged 50,000 buildings.

Christine Lu, an American-Taiwanese businesswoman, was in her hotel room in Taipei when the earthquake struck.

“I was with my teenage son and it was his first time in Taiwan. We’re from Los Angeles, where earthquakes are common, so at first I turned to him and said, ‘This is your first earthquake in Taiwan,’ and I thought it was going to be a small one. But he did not stop and became stronger. So at one point we both jumped out of our beds to go under a desk or a door, but then it stopped,” he originally told Al Jazeera.

“The hotel is in a newer building, so even though the building was swaying, we still felt safe,” he added.

Memories 1999

Lu said her Taiwanese relatives told her it was the strongest earthquake they had ever felt.

Stacey Liu, a former engineer turned Chinese teacher, was taking an online class when the quake struck. Liu lives on the fourth floor of a relatively safe block of flats, but told Al Jazeera that the intensity of the shaking immediately brought back childhood memories of the 1999 disaster.

“I was freaking out. I felt like scary things were going to happen again because I’ve been through 1999 so I know how scary it can be. I would take out helmets, prepare our guinea pigs and put some water and snacks under the table in case something crazy happened,” he added.

Although nothing major was broken in her apartment, she said her parents, who live in a nearby town, had some damage to their home.

“When the earthquake first hit, I thought it might be the rumble of a truck from the overpass next to my house, but then the rumble quickly got louder and louder and my apartment started rocking back and forth like a ship. I could hear books and other things falling off the shelves, but I was trying to stay in place as much as possible,” Al Jazeera’s Taiwan correspondent Erin Hale first reported.

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