Apr 3, 2024
3 mins read
3 mins read

Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, 9 People Dead, 70 Miners Trapped

Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, 9 People Dead, 70 Miners Trapped

HUALIEN, Taiwan (NEWSnet/AP) — The strongest earthquake in a quarter-century rocked Taiwan early Wednesday, killing nine people and trapping dozens of miners. A tsunami warning was triggered, but later lifted.

The quake was centered near the coast of Hualien County, where some buildings leaned at severe angles, ground floors crushed. About 150 miles away in Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings, and schools were evacuated.

The quake struck just before 8 a.m. local time, according to Taiwan’s national fire agency. United Daily News reported that three were hikers killed in rockslides in Taroko National Park, which is in Hualien, and that a van driver died in the same area when boulders hit the vehicle.

Another 934 people were injured. Authorities said they had lost contact with 50 people in minibuses in the national park after the quake downed phone networks.

Sixty-four people were trapped in one coal mine and six in another, officials said.

The quake and aftershocks caused 24 landslides and damage to 35 roads, bridges and tunnels.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency said the quake was 7.2 magnitude. U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.4.

Traffic along the east coast was at a virtual standstill after the earthquake, with landslides and falling debris hitting tunnels and highways. Train service was suspended across the island of 23 million people, with some tracks twisted by the stress of the quake. Subway service in Taipei also was paused. Sections of a newly constructed elevated line split, but did not collapse.

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