Taiwan earthquake updates: 9 dead, hundreds injured in 7.4 magnitude quake


At least nine people were killed and more than 1,000 others were injured on Wednesday in the most powerful earthquake to strike Taiwan in 25 years, the Taiwanese government said.

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit just before 8 a.m. local time, with an epicenter near Hualien, a city on the eastern coast. More than 100 aftershocks, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, also near Hualien, have struck the island, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

PHOTO: This photo taken by Taiwan's Central News Agency on April 3, 2024 shows emergency workers assisting a survivor after he was rescued from a damaged building in New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east.

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on April 3, 2024 shows emergency workers assisting a survivor after he was rescued from a damaged building in New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east.

CNA/AFP via Getty Images

The nine deaths were all in Hualien, according to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency and the EMIC in Taipei. Another 143 people are believed to be trapped either under rumble or in other locations.

Among the trapped are at least 71 miners in two different rock quarries in cement factory areas, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Of the trapped, 64 are in Heping Mine and seven miners are trapped in Zhonghe Mine Heren Mining area.

There are also a number of tourists and employees trapped in Hualian’s Taroko National Park, including 47 employees at Silk Place Taroko Hotel and 24 tourists in the Jiuqu Cave tourist area, officials said.

PHOTO: This handout photo from the Taichung City Government's Fire Bureau taken and released on April 3, 2024 shows rocks blocking part of the road on a section of a highway in Taichung, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east.

This handout photo from the Taichung City Government’s Fire Bureau taken and released on April 3, 2024 shows rocks blocking part of the road on a section of a highway in Taichung, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east.

Taichung Fire Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

The number of injured rose throughout the day, as authorities collected information about the destruction.

At noon, emergency personnel said there were 57 injuries reported across the island. By 2 p.m., the number of injuries climbed to 711, emergency officials said. The figure jumped to 821 by the time authorities released their 4:30 p.m. update and climbed again to 934 injured by 6 p.m., officials said.

The total rose to 1,011 injuries in the country’s final update of the night Wednesday.

At least 317 of the injured were in Taipei and New Taipei City, cities about 80 to 100 miles from the epicenter, officials said.

PHOTO: This photo taken by Taiwan's Central News Agency on April 3, 2024 shows a barricade erected around debris in the compound of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east.

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on April 3, 2024 shows a barricade erected around debris in the compound of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east.

CNA/AFP via Getty Images

A five-story house and another building in Hualien collapsed. A seven-decade-old low-rise house in Keelung and at least one other building in Taipei were said to have falling debris.

Other reported damage included nine sections of local highways and 11 roads with falling stones or cracked pavements.

PHOTO: This photo taken by Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows damage to buildings in Xindian district of New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east.

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows damage to buildings in Xindian district of New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east.

CNA/AFP via Getty Images

The metro system and high-speed rail were suspended. The highways in northern Yiland and eastern Hualien were shut off as a precautionary measure, according to the Taiwanese Highway Bureau.

There have been three small tsunamis reported on islands between Japan’s main island and Taiwan. All Tsunami warnings in Japan, though, have ended.

PHOTO: In this photo released by the National Fire Agency, members of a search and rescue team prepare outside a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

In this photo released by the National Fire Agency, members of a search and rescue team prepare outside a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

National Fire Agency via AP

Six other quakes with a magnitude of 7 or greater have struck the area in the last 50 years, USGS officials said in a summary of the event.

“The largest of these was an M 7.7 earthquake in September 1999 (the Chi-Chi earthquake) that resulted in at least 2,297 fatalities, caused damage estimated at $14 billion, and occurred 59 km east of the April 2, 2024, event,” the USGS said.



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