Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 7.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan's eastern coast on Wednesday, April 3, the strongest tremor to hit the country in 25 years.

The quake struck at 7:58 a.m. local time, 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien city and at a depth of 34.8 kilometers (21 miles), US Geological Survey said.

Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years
A partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on April 3, 2024. Photo courtesy: TVBS video footage

As of press time, the powerful quake killed at least four individuals while 57 others were injured.

At least 26 buildings have collapsed, 15 of which are in Hualien, with about 20 people trapped and rescue work on-going, Taiwan’s Central Emergency Command Center (CEOC) said.

The quake prompted tsunami warnings in Taiwan, southern Japan and the Philippines, with waves less than half a meter observed along some coasts, and prompting airlines to suspend flights.

The tsunami warnings in Japan and the Philippines were later lifted.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration spokesperson warned that powerful aftershocks as high as magnitude 7 are expected to occur until the end of this week.

Hualien is Taiwan's biggest county, with an area of about 4,628 square kilometers and a population of 350,000. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake jolted near Hualien in 2018, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than 300 others.

Philippine government ready to assist Filipinos in Taiwan

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assured the Filipino workers in Taiwan that the Philippine government is ready to assist and support them during these difficult times following the strong earthquake today.

“We stand ready to assist and support our fellow Filipinos in Taiwan in any way possible during this difficult period,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said in a statement shortly after a strong earthquake jolted Taiwan.

President Marcos added the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is diligently ensuring the safety of the 159,480 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) current residing in Taiwan.

“Our hearts are with the people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath of today’s powerful earthquake,” the chief executive said.

— The Summit Express

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