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9 people killed and dozens trapped in Taiwan following the most powerful earthquake in 25 years


Apr 3, 2024

A powerful earthquake hit the east coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning, causing at least nine deaths and more than 900 injuries. The quake, the strongest in 25 years, collapsed buildings, caused power outages, and triggered landslides. Tsunami warnings were issued for southern Japan and the Philippines as a result of the earthquake.

The Taiwanese officials reported the quake as having a magnitude of 7.2, while the U.S. Geological Survey registered a magnitude of 7.4. The earthquake struck southwest of Hualien City at 7:58 a.m. local time, followed by powerful aftershocks. The quake occurred 21 miles below the surface, leaving 77 people trapped in tunnels and beneath collapsed buildings.

Despite the strength of the earthquake, Taiwan’s buildings are designed to withstand such events and its population is well-drilled for emergency response. The frequent earthquakes in Taiwan are due to the island’s location along the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates converge and interact, causing seismic activity.

The interaction between the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate in Taiwan generates reverse faults that lift one plate above the other. Since 1980, around 2,000 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater have been recorded on the island. The deadliest earthquake in Taiwan’s recent history, the magnitude 7.7 Chi-Chi quake of 1999, resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries, and significant damage.

By editor

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