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Taiwan Reels from Worst Earthquake in 25 Years

Taiwan Earthquake Visuals Buildings Shaking Toppled Highways Cars Jolted  7.5 Magnitude Video

Taiwan has been plunged into the aftermath of its most severe earthquake in a quarter of a century, with rescue operations underway following the 7.4 magnitude tremor that struck the eastern coast.

The quake, which occurred at 07:58 local time (23:58 GMT) on Wednesday, has claimed at least nine lives and left over 1,000 injured, primarily in the Hualien area, located 18km (11 miles) south of the epicenter.

Numerous individuals remain trapped beneath collapsed tunnels and roads along the coastline, with rescue efforts focused on reaching the 77 individuals stuck in the Jinwen and Qingshui tunnels in Hualien.

Taiwan Earthquake 48 Missing Over 100 Trapped Under Rubble Strongest  Earthquake In 25 Years Top Points

The devastation caused by the earthquake is evident, with images depicting roads outside the Qingshui tunnel completely destroyed. The region’s intricate network of narrow roads and tunnels, nestled amidst rocky terrain, has exacerbated the challenges of rescue operations.

The affected area, renowned for its scenic beauty, is a popular tourist destination, particularly drawing visitors to Taroko National Park. Tragically, three hikers lost their lives on a trail within the park, while 50 trapped individuals were en route to a hotel for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Communication with those trapped remains uncertain, raising concerns about their access to essential supplies. The earthquake also triggered tsunami alerts in neighboring Japanese and Philippine islands, although these were subsequently downgraded.

World Times on X: "BREAKING Taiwan to deploy military in areas affected by  7.4-magnitude earthquake as people feared trapped inside buildings: Report  https://t.co/ubsAcUYSus" / X

Hualien bore the brunt of the damage, with collapsed buildings, blocked roads, and disrupted train lines further isolating the remote region from the rest of Taiwan. Reports of power outages and internet disruptions have added to the challenges faced by residents.

Witnesses recounted the intensity of the earthquake, describing scenes of chaos and destruction, particularly in Taipei, where collapsed buildings and evacuations were observed. The quake’s shallow depth of 15.5km and subsequent aftershocks have heightened the impact across the island.

While Taiwan has a history of seismic activity, the severity of this earthquake marks a significant event for both locals and long-term residents, with comparisons drawn to the devastating 1999 quake.

Taiwan’s foreign office expressed gratitude for offers of aid from allies like Japan and Paraguay, while declining assistance from China, emphasizing its sovereignty amid longstanding tensions between the two entities.

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