Taiwan’s Deadliest Earthquake in 25 Years Claims Seven Lives, Leaves Hundreds Injured

On Wednesday, Taiwan was jolted by a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake, marking the strongest tremor to hit the island in over 25 years, claiming the lives of seven individuals and leaving over 700 injured.

The quake rattled the island nation on Wednesday morning, causing widespread destruction and panic.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located just offshore near the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien.

Television broadcasts captured scenes of buildings teetering at precarious angles and massive landslides engulfing the landscape. As the tremors reverberated through the region, 77 individuals found themselves trapped in tunnels and collapsed structures, prompting a frantic rescue effort.

Chang Yu-lin, a 60-year-old hospital worker in Taipei, described the intensity of the quake, stating, “It was very strong. It felt as if the house was going to topple.”

The earthquake struck at a depth of 15.5 km (9.6 miles) at around 8 a.m., catching many residents off guard as they were preparing for their daily routines.

The aftermath of the quake triggered a tsunami warning for southern Japan and the Philippines, although it was later lifted.

 Rescuers worked tirelessly to extricate those trapped, utilizing ladders to assist individuals in descending to safety. Among those caught in the chaos were two Germans trapped in a tunnel.

Authorities reported a staggering 736 injuries, highlighting the scale of the disaster. President-elect Lai Ching-te emphasized the urgent need for rescue operations, declaring, “At present the most important thing, the top priority, is to rescue people.” Lai, who is set to assume office next month, pledged swift action to address the crisis.

Despite the widespread devastation, there were signs of resilience and solidarity as communities rallied together in the face of adversity. Efforts to restore normalcy were underway, with plans to reopen the rail link to the affected area on Thursday.

Chioma Kalu

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