9 dead, 821 injured & 127 trapped after Taiwan's strongest earthquake in 25 years

Taiwan is still shaking from aftershocks.

Fiona Tan | April 03, 2024, 06:08 PM



Taiwan was rocked by an earthquake, the strongest in 25 years, on the morning of Apr. 3, 2024.

Nine people have died in the aftermath while another 821 are injured and 127 are still trapped as of the time of writing.

Details so far

Taiwan's Central Weather Administration reported that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.2.

However, the United States Geological Survey said the earthquake measured a magnitude of 7.4, Reuters reported.

AFP cited Taiwan’s official central news agency saying that the quake was the biggest since 1999, when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed about 2,400 people and damaged or destroyed 50,000 buildings.

According to the latest government figures at the time of writing as reported by Focus Taiwan, The Guardian and the BBC, nine people have died.

Three of the deceased were hikers killed by falling rocks on the Dekalun trail at Taroko National Park in Hualien.

Two other individuals — a truck driver at Su Hua Highway and another person in a private car at Huide Tunnel — were killed by falling rocks.

The remaining two deceased were an individual who died at a quarry for Taiwan's national cement company Taiwan Cement Corp. Renhe, and a construction worker who was killed on a highway in Taroko National Park.

All three fatalities were caused by falling rocks, officials said.

Taiwan shaking from aftershocks

At the time of writing, Taiwan is still experiencing aftershocks from the earthquake, and at least 127 aftershocks have been recorded, Focus Taiwan reported.

Taipei's Central Weather Administration's Seismology Center director Wu Chien Fu told AFP that authorities are not ruling out the possibility of more earthquakes between the magnitude of 6.5 to 7 in the next three days.

The earthquake on Apr. 3 morning struck the eastern coast of the island and was felt most in Hualien, the city closest to the epicentre of the quake.

At least two buildings, as well as some tunnels, have collapsed. Train lines have also been damaged by falling rocks.

Both Japan and the Philippines have downgraded their earlier tsunami alerts.

Taiwan thanks all the countries that offered assistance

Leaders from Japan, Paraguay, Guatemala and the Czech Republic have offered assistance to Taiwan.

China has also offered Taiwan a helping hand.

State-owned media Xinhua News quoted a spokesperson saying "the mainland is paying close attention to the 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan and the development of the disaster, and is willing to provide disaster relief assistance".

In her first message on X, formerly Twitter since the earthquake on Apr. 3 morning, Taiwan President Tsai Ing Wen responded in Japanese to Japan Prime Minister (PM) Fumio Kishida, thanking him for offering their assistance.

"I would like to express my gratitude to Prime Minister Kishida for his words of sympathy. It has brought warmth to the hearts of those of us in Taiwan," she said.

"I myself have seen Japanese people posting messages of support for Taiwan on social media, and once again felt the friendship between Taiwan and Japan."

She subsequently responded to the other leaders in the language of their respective countries, but did not mention China.

Similarly, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the countries who have offered their assistance on X — thanking all of them, save for China.

X, formerly Twitter is banned in mainland China.

Taiwan's agency which engages with China — its Mainland Affairs Council — thanked China for its concern but said there would be no request for assistance from that side, BBC reported.

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Top image from @@Bigman13M/X