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03rd Apr 2024

Seven dead after Taiwan hit by biggest earthquake in 25 years

Charlie Herbert

taiwan earthquake

Huge rescue efforts are underway

At least seven people are dead and hundreds injured after Taiwan was hit by its most powerful earthquake in 25 years.

The 7.4 magnitude quake hit an area close to the city of Hualien at 07:58 local time on Wednesday (23:58 GMT).

Its epicentre was 18km south of Hualien.

In its latest update, Taiwan’s National Fire Agency confirmed at least seven people had died in the earthquake, with 711 people injured and 77 still “trapped.”

Footage shared on social media shows buildings partially collapsed, while the earthquake also triggered at least nine landslides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, according to local media reports.

The tremor had initially prompted tsunami fears for nearby Japanese islands and the northern coast of the Philippines, but these have since been downgraded, the BBC reports.

China and Japan have both offered assistance and aid to Taiwan in its rescue efforts.

In a message on X, Taiwan President Tsai expressed her gratitude to Japan for its offer of aid.

She wrote: “I would like to express my gratitude to Prime Minister Kishida for his words of sympathy. It has brought warmth to the hearts of those of us in Taiwan.

“I myself have seen Japanese people posting messages of support for Taiwan on social media, and once again felt the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.”

The president has also said the military will be deployed in rescue operations.

The country’s Mainland Affairs Council thanked Beijing for its offer of aid, but said it would not be requesting any assistance from China.