Taiwan earthquake: Live updates

Agence France-Presse, Inquirer.net, Reuters April 03,2024 - 01:43 PM

(UPDATED, 5:00 p.m., April 4) These are the latest updates on the Taiwan earthquake on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Bookmark this page to get the latest updates on Taiwan’s strongest quake in 25 years. 

The Taiwan quake was the strongest since a 7.6-magnitude struck in September 1999, killing around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s history.

Wednesday’s magnitude-7.4 quake struck just before 8:00 am local time

Why is Taiwan so exposed to earthquakes?

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes yet their toll on the high-tech island’s 23 million residents has been relatively contained thanks to its excellent earthquake preparedness, experts say.

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

The area is particularly vulnerable to temblors due to the tension accumulated from the interactions of two tectonic plates, the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate, which may lead to sudden releases in the form of earthquakes.

Taiwan quake affects about 5,000 Filipinos

The Taiwan earthquake has affected about 5,000 Filipinos, said Hans Cacdac, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge, on Thursday.

1,400 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are in Hualien country — the epicenter of the quake — while the rest are from the adjacent counties, said Cacdac in a press conference at the DMW Headquarters in Quezon City.

Cacdac also said they have yet to receive requests for repatriation.

Taiwan earthquake family

Workers carry out operations while on the elevated platform of a firefighting truck at the site where a building collapsed, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 4, 2024. | REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Taiwan earthquake cracks walls and shatters memories for one family

Linda Chen looked wistfully around her apartment in Taiwan’s eastern city of Hualien, which her family believes is now too dangerous to live in after it was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.2.

Wednesday’s (April 3, 2024)  quake, which left cracks in the walls of Chen’s home big enough to allow glimpses of other rooms, will be the second forcing the family to move after their previous apartment was severely damaged by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in 2018.

Sorting through the mess hours later, Chen, 48, suddenly encountered some marks on a wall that tracked changes in her son’s height as he grew up.

Taiwan earthquake injuries top 1,000

The number of people injured in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in eastern Taiwan climbed past 1,000 on Thursday though the death toll remained steady at nine, with dozens workers on their way to a hotel in a national park mostly now found safe.

Taiwan’s fire department said the number of injuries had reached 1,058, but most of almost 50 hotel workers on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park, a popular tourist destination, had been located.


Workers at the site where a building collapsed in Hualien, Taiwan April 4, 2024. | REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Helicopter plucks miners to safety as search continues for missing

A helicopter plucked six miners to safety from a Taiwan quarry Thursday as rescuers worked to free scores of people trapped in highway tunnels after the island’s biggest earthquake in a quarter of a century.

Dozens of residents of the worst-hit city spent a night outdoors rather in apartments still being shaken by aftershocks, and a massive engineering operation was under way to fix damaged roads and prop up tilting buildings.

Dramatic video released Thursday by the island’s Central Emergency Operation Centre showed a helicopter flying two sorties to pluck six miners trapped in a gypsum quarry in Hualien county, near the epicentre of the quake.

Rescuers knew the whereabouts of dozens more people trapped in a network of strongly built tunnels in the county, a feature of the roads that cut through the scenic mountains and cliffs leading to Hualien City from the north and west.

Taiwan earthquake

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows damage to a building in New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east. | Photo by CNA / AFP

9 dead, 50 missing in Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years

Firefighters work at the site of a collapsed building in Hualien, April 3, 2024. Taiwan National Fire Agency/Handout

Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in at least 25 years killed nine people on Wednesday, injuring more than 800, while 50 went missing en route to a national park, authorities said, as rescuers used ladders to bring others to safety.

Television broadcast images of buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien, near the epicenter of the 7.2 magnitude quake, which struck just offshore at about 8 a. m. (0000GMT).

Help desk for Filipinos affected by Taiwan earthquake now open

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) launched on Wednesday a help desk for Filipino workers in Taiwan who need assistance after the 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

“The Help Desk will also cater to information requests of family members of Taiwan-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) wanting to find out the status and condition of their loved ones,” said DMW in an advisory.

File photo

Death toll in Taiwan quake rises to seven 

The death toll from a major earthquake in Taiwan on Wednesday has risen to seven, and the number of injuries has climbed to 736, according to the national fire agency.

The deaths all occurred in Hualien county, a mountainous region along Taiwan’s eastern coast that was the epicentre of the quake.

Taiwan earthquake death toll

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows emergency workers attending to a survivor, who had been trapped in a damaged building, in New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east. | Photo by CNA / AFP)

Taiwan earthquake death toll now at four

At least four people were killed in Taiwan earthquake in the latest update.

Three people among a group of seven on an early-morning hike through the hills that surround the city were crushed to death by boulders loosened by the earthquake, officials said.

Separately, a truck driver died when his vehicle was hit by a landslide as it approached a tunnel in the area.

Taiwan earthquake update

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) 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. A major 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan’s east on the morning of April 3, prompting tsunami warnings for the self-ruled island as well as parts of southern Japan and the Philippines. | Photo by CNA / AFP

One feared dead, dozens injured 

At least one person was feared dead and nearly 60 injured in the Taiwan quake on Wednesday.

Officials said the quake and series of strong aftershocks was the strongest to shake the island in decades, and warned of more tremors in the days ahead.

Taiwan earthquake

This photo taken by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows people looking at a damaged building in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east. | Photo by CNA / AFP

Tsunami warning in the Philippines cancelled

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) cancelled a tsunami warning that had been issued after a major earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

“Based on available data of our sea level monitoring stations facing the epicentral area, no significant sea level disturbances have been recorded since 07:58 am (2358 GMT Tuesday) up until this cancellation,” the agency said in an advisory.

Phivolcs earlier issued a warning for residents in coastal areas of several provinces, urging them to evacuate to higher ground.

Tsunami warning raised in coastal areas of the Philippines

The Philippines warned of “high tsunami waves” and called for the evacuation of coastal areas across the country  after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in neighbouring Taiwan.

“The people in the coastal areas of the following provinces are strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland,” the state seismology institute said in an advisory.

Taiwan hit by strong earthquake; tsunami warnings issued

An earthquake offshore Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.2 rocked the capital Taipei on Wednesday morning, April 3, 2024, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan television stations showed footage of some collapsed buildings in the eastern county of Hualien, near the quake’s epicentre, and media reported some people were trapped.

The quake hit at 07:58 a.m. (2358 GMT) at a depth of 15.5km (9.6 miles) just off the eastern coast of Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration. It was the strongest quake to hit the island in 25 years, state media said.

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