Taiwan: 6,9 magnitude Earthquake hits Taiwan, building collapses
Taiwan was hit by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake on Sunday, 18 September 2022, leaving at least one person dead and 146 injured. The quake hit at14h44 (06:44 GMT) about 50km north of the city of Taitung at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It was the strongest of several tremors over the past three days, with another 5.6-magnitude earthquake following on Monday.
More than 600 people were trapped on the scenic Chike and Liushishi mountain areas by blocked roads, though there were no injuries and rescuers were working to reopen them.
A three-storey building, which had a 7-Eleven convenience store on the ground floor and residences on the upper ones, collapsed in the nearby town of Yuli in Hualien. Video posted by Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency showed panicked residents running towards the building, which caved in on itself and sent up a thick cloud of dust. The 70-year-old owner of the building and his wife were rescued and workers were in communication with a 39-year-old woman and her five-year-old daughter still trapped inside. A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket and being handed down a metal ladder from the top of the debris by rescue workers in orange uniforms.
Police and fire fighters rushed to a bridge collapse on a two-lane road in what appeared to be a rural part of Yuli where three people and one or more vehicles may have fallen off, according to media reports. The Taiwan Railways Administration said three carriages came off the rails at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan after part of the platform canopy collapsed. The roughly 20 passengers on board were evacuated.
Also in Yuli, a landslide trapped nearly 400 tourists on a mountain known for the orange day lilies that blanket its slopes at this time of year, the CNA said. They had no electricity and a weak mobile phone signal.
Taiwanese state media, the Central News Agency, said a man with the surname Huang died at a factory in Hualien when a piece of machinery fell on him.
The shaking was felt at the north end of the island in the capital, Taipei. The temblor’s initial strength was given as magnitude 7.2 but USGS later downgraded it to 6.9.
A magnitude 6.6 quake hit the same region on Saturday and there have been multiple tremors since with Sunday’s the strongest by far.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory to remote islands near Taiwan but it was later cancelled.
The islands are about 2 000km southwest of Tokyo.
Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.
More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, while a magnitude 7.3 temblor killed more than 2 000 people in 1999.
Sources: Al Jazeera, Hualien County Fire Department, The Guardian
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