Taiwan Hit by 25-Year Record Earthquake

On Wednesday morning, Taiwan’s eastern shores were rocked by a seismic event of considerable magnitude, measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale, as confirmed by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS issued a statement indicating, “Notable quake, preliminary info: M 6.5 – 11 km NE of Hualien City, Taiwan.” Notably, this seismic upheaval prompted the issuance of tsunami alerts in southern Japan and the Philippines.

According to reports from the Central News Agency, the epicenter of the earthquake was situated in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 25.0 kilometers south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km.

Marking the most powerful seismic event in a quarter of a century, this earthquake underscores Taiwan’s vulnerability to such occurrences owing to its geographical proximity to the convergence of two tectonic plates.

It is noteworthy that Taiwan experienced another significant seismic event in September 1999, registering at 7.6 magnitude, which resulted in approximately 2,400 fatalities, constituting the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s recorded history.

By contrast, Japan contends with an annual average of around 1,500 seismic events.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, substantial damage was reported in Hualien city, with numerous buildings collapsing, and nationwide disruptions to train services ensued. Authorities have extended the option to schools and government offices to suspend classes and work operations.

Among the notable incidents was the partial collapse of a five-storey building in Hualien, resulting in a pronounced 45-degree tilt from its original position to the first floor. Visual documentation of this event has circulated on various social media platforms.

Shruti Suman

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