Taiwan: Thousands without power and ‘people trapped in buildings’ after strong earthquake | World News

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years has left people trapped in collapsed buildings and many without power.

Tsunami warnings were issued after the quake – which had an estimated magnitude of 7.7 – with residents in coastal areas of southwestern Japan urged to evacuate after it struck at 7.58am local time.

One person has died and more than 50 have been injured, according to the Taiwan fire department.

A five-story building in the city of Hualien – near the quake’s epicentre in Taiwan – appeared to be heavily damaged. The first floor of the building had collapsed leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle.

Buildings were shaken from their foundations in Taiwan. Pic: TVBS

In the capital Taipei, tiles fell from the roof of older buildings and within some newer office complexes.

Meanwhile, more than 87,000 households were left without power after the quake, according to Taiwan electricity operator Taipower.

The first wave of a tsunami struck two of Japan‘s southern islands and waves of up to three metres were expected to reach larger areas of the southwestern coast.


Japan’s meteorological agency (JMA) described the quake as very shallow, warning people to be “vigilant” for aftershocks, which it said could occur for around a week.

The JMA lifted all tsunami advisories hours after the initial quake.

The Philippines Seismology Agency also urged residents in coastal areas of several provinces to evacuate to higher ground.

A view of a damaged apartment following an earthquake offshore, in New Taipei City, Taiwan April 3, 2024. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher
A view of a damaged flat in Taiwan. Pic: Reuters

A view of a damaged apartment following an earthquake offshore, in New Taipei City, Taiwan April 3, 2024. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher
Pic: Reuters

In Taiwan, train services across the island – which is home to 23 million people – were suspended, as was the metro.

The Taipei city government said it had not received any reports of damage and the MRT was back up and running soon after.

According to a witness, the quake could be felt as far as Shanghai in China.

A view of a landslide after an earthquake hit just off the eastern coast of Taiwan, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Administration, in Xiulin, Hualien, Taiwan, April 3, 2024, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Tutuloveeat/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
A landslide occurred as a result of the earthquake in Taiwan. Pic: Tutuloveeat

Multiple aftershocks were felt in Taipei in the hour after the initial quake. The US Geological Society said one of the subsequent quakes was seven miles deep and had a magnitude of 6.5.

Taiwan lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a line of seismic faults where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

In March 2011, a 9 magnitude earthquake was the strongest in Japan’s history – triggering a massive tsunami and the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.


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