Taiwan earthquake – latest: Rescuers race to save dozens trapped in tunnels as nine confirmed dead

Buildings partially collapsed after 7.4-magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

Dozens are understood to be trapped in highway tunnels after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast, which has seen nine people confirmed dead and more than 900 injured.

Tremors set off at least nine landslides and debris collapsed hillsides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, which runs down the east coast.

According to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency (NFA), people are trapped in two road tunnels along the Suhua Highway- one of the most dangerous roads in Taiwan, straddling between the mountainside and ocean.

Rescue teams are working to get to those trapped, with CNN reporting that 75 people who were stranded in various tunnels had been rescued in the morning.

The earthquake – the strongest in 25 years in Taiwan – set off tsunami warnings on the island and across neighbouring countries, seismology officials said.

More than 77 people remain trapped under the rubble after the quake caused widespread damage and power outages across the country.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.58am local time, was located about 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, said the US Geological Survey. The USGS measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.4, though Taiwan’s own monitoring agency put it at 7.2.

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Mapped: Where did the earthquake occur?

Rescue efforts are focused in Hualien city, from where most of the casualties and damage have been reported.

Mike Bedigan4 April 2024 01:30

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Photo: Taiwan’s president-elect surveys damage in Hualien

Taiwan’s president-elect and current Vice-President Lai Ching-te (3rd R) surveying damage in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east

(CNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Mike Bedigan4 April 2024 01:00

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Taiwan president thanks first responders

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen thanked people for sending messages of support and first responders for saving lives after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake this morning and its aftershocks.

“I’m deeply grateful for the messages of support we have received from around the world, and to our first responders for their life-saving work,” the Taiwanese president wrote on X.

“My heart is with everyone affected. Please keep in touch with loved ones, and stay safe,” Ms Tsai said.

Mike Bedigan4 April 2024 00:30

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Watch live: Taiwan earthquake rescue operation underway as at least nine people dead

Mike Bedigan4 April 2024 00:00

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‘The biggest earthquake I have ever experienced’

A woman who runs bed-and-breakfast accommodation in Hualien city said she scrambled to calm her guests who were scared by the quake.

“This is the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced,” the woman, who asked to be identified only by her family name, Chan, told Reuters.

The government previously put the number of injured at 946, though other reports place the numbers at over 1,000.

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 23:30

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ICYMI: Taiwan rocked by biggest earthquake in 25 years with nine confirmed dead

At least nine people were killed and more than 900 injured when Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in 25 years rocked the island during the morning rush hour, prompting authorities to issue tsunami warnings.

Read more from The Independent’s Alisha Rahaman Sarkar:

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 23:00

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In pictures: Destruction in Taiwan following 7.4 magnitude quake

(EPA)

(CNA/AFP/Getty)

(CNA/AFP/Getty)

(Hualien Fire Department/AFP/Getty)

(EPA)

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 22:30

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Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes and so well prepared to withstand them?

Taiwan was struck Wednesday by its most powerful earthquake in a quarter of a century. At least nine people were killed and more than 1,000 reportedly were injured, with buildings and highways damaged and train service interrupted.

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes, but well equipped to deal with them, according to experts.

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 22:00

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Taiwan earthquake numbers

Here are some of the numbers from the earthquake in Taiwan so far. Numbers have been sourced from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Taiwanese officials and local news outlets, as well as international news agencies.

– The quake was measured as being at 7.4 magnitude

– At least 58 aftershocks followed, with one of magnitude 6.4

– At least 26 buildings collapsed; 15 were located in Hualien City

– The event set off at least 24 landslides on Suhua Highway in Hualien

– Nine people have been confirmed as dead, with over 1,000 injured

– Dozens of people were stranded and others remain missing

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 21:30

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Shockwaves felt across Taiwan

The power of Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude quake was felt all over Taiwan and surrounding areas.

Tremors were captured live as news anchors delivered their bulletins, steadying themselves against giant screens as their sets swayed and lighting rigs rocked back and forth overhead.

Commuters were rocked from side to side, with footage showing some bracing themselves as the train swayed violently before stopping on the tracks, with one woman forced to crouch down. Sighs of relief were let out as the shockwaves subside.

Elsewhere, people were forced to evacuate houses, and CCTV footage captured items falling from shelves and breaking inside local cafes.

CCTV captures moment deadly Taiwan earthquake hits

Mike Bedigan3 April 2024 21:00

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