April 25, 2024
Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

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Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake; School Suspensions and Transport Disruptions Ensue

Taiwan : Taiwan was rattled by a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake striking off the coast of Hualien County at 7:58 am on Wednesday. The Hualien County Government promptly announced the suspension of schools and classes in the aftermath of the quake.

According to the Central Weather Administration (CWA), the epicenter was located 25km south-southeast of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 15.5km. The quake’s intensity peaked at 6 in Hualien, with Yilan and Miaoli counties experiencing intensities over 5.

Tremors of just under 5 were felt in major cities such as Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, and Taoyuan, as well as in Nantou, Hsinchu, and Changhua counties. Even regions as far south as Pingtung County reported intensities of 4. The CWA issued a warning about potential aftershocks measuring between magnitude 6.5 to 7 over the next few days.

Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake
Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

By 10:30 am, 34 aftershocks had been recorded, with 30 measuring magnitude 4 or above, including two stronger than magnitude 6. The shallow depth and proximity to land contributed to the widespread impact of the earthquake across Taiwan.

Although initial assessments suggest this was the main quake, Director Wu Chien-fu of the CWA Seismological Center warned of the possibility of strong aftershocks. This earthquake marks the strongest to hit Taiwan since the magnitude 7.3 quake in 1999.

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Transport services were disrupted across the country. Taipei’s MRT services were briefly suspended for safety checks, with operations resuming by 10 am. Taichung MRT and high-speed rail services were also temporarily halted. Damage to the Taiwan Railway forced the closure of the stretch from Yilan’s Jiaosi Township to Hualien’s Fonglin Township.

Additionally, parts of major highways, including the Suhua Highway and the Central Cross-Island Highway, were closed due to damage. A tsunami warning was issued for Japan’s Okinawa and several provinces in the Philippines.

Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake
Taiwan Rocked by Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

Emergency responders in Hualien City were engaged in rescuing individuals trapped in two buildings tilting at severe angles. The Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) network suspended service, citing safety concerns following the earthquake. An emergency response center has been set up by THSR to assess the situation and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

The situation continues to evolve as authorities work to assess the extent of damage and ensure public safety in the aftermath of this significant seismic event.


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