Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings, leaving 4 dead

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 (TVBS via AP)
In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 (TVBS via AP)

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century rocked the island during the morning rush hour, damaging buildings and highways and causing the deaths of four people.

Taiwan’s national fire agency says four people died in Hualien County and at least 57 were injured in the quake that struck just before 8 a.m. The local United Daily News reports three hikers died in rockslides in Taroko National Park near the offshore epicenter.

A five-story building in Hualien appeared heavily damaged, collapsing its first floor and leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle. In the capital Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings and in some newer office complexes, while debris fell from some building sites. Schools evacuated their students to sports fields, equipping them with yellow safety helmets. Some also covered themselves with textbooks to guard against falling objects as aftershocks continued.

Train service was suspended across the island of 23 million people, as was subway service in Taipei, where a newly constructed above-ground line partially separated. The national legislature, a converted school built before World War II, also has damage to walls and ceilings.

Traffic along the east coast is at a virtual standstill, with landslides and falling debris hitting tunnels and highways in the mountainous region. Those caused damage to vehicles, though it isn’t clear if anyone was hurt.

Most Popular