Taiwan Left Shaken in Aftermath of Earthquake

Taiwan Left Shaken in Aftermath of Earthquake

(RepublicanView.org) – Taiwan was rocked by its strongest earthquake in 25 years on April 3. At least 13 people died, and hundreds were injured when the 7.4 magnitude quake struck the island’s east coast. Rescuers raced against time to search collapsed tunnels and bridges along the coastline and around the epicenter, located around 11 miles from Hualien city. On Saturday, April 6, AP News reported that 6 individuals were still unaccounted for, and over 400 others were still stranded and in need of rescue.

More than 50 aftershocks shook the island, with tremors felt as far away as the capital, Taipei, located roughly 100 miles from the affected coast. Rescue officials said some of those missing include tourists from Canada and Australia, who disappeared when the road near their hotel collapsed. Su Yu-ming, a search team leader, said hundreds were cut off, and helicopters were transporting them to safety. The rescuer acknowledged that the unpredictable nature of such incidents meant he could not accurately estimate how long the mission would take.

A 59-year-old Hualien resident told the BBC that she awoke to find the walls “crumbling.” Following the tragedy, global headlines included an image of Chang Hsin’s building tilted on its side. Construction machinery held the building in place, and workers said they did all they could to prevent it from toppling over.

Individual stories began to emerge in the aftermath, including that of a woman who died when she returned home to rescue her cat. The woman, in her 30s, ran into the shaking building to search for her pet, but it collapsed with her inside.

Taiwan’s leader, Chen Chien-jen, traveled to the area within hours, met with first responders, and visited victims in hospital.

The last major earthquake on the island occurred in 1999 and had a much more severe impact. A 7.7 magnitude quake struck in Nantou County, killing 2,415 people and injuring more than 11,000. Volunteers and the country’s military launched a major rescue effort, restoring services and distributing food to the 100,000 people left without homes.

Copyright 2024, RepublicanView.org