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Taiwan earthquake causes severe damage to iPhone and AI chip factories

Byeditor

Apr 3, 2024

A powerful earthquake struck waters near Taiwan on Wednesday morning, causing widespread devastation and loss of life. The quake, which measured 7.2 in magnitude, had its epicenter off the coast of Hualien and was the largest earthquake to hit the island since September 1999. Throughout the day, reports of casualties and injuries continued to come in, with nine people confirmed dead and hundreds injured by late afternoon. In Hualien, buildings were severely tilted, train tracks were broken, and roads leading into the city had cracks, prompting the local government to suspend work and school for the day.

The earthquake also had significant impacts on Taiwan’s high-tech industries. Taiwanese technology companies quickly assessed the damage, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) evacuating some of its factories as a precaution. Other companies, such as United Microelectronics and display manufacturers Innolux and AUO, also evacuated plants and worked to restart production machinery. TSMC reported damage to some wafers and machinery at its Hsinchu factories, potentially requiring staff to work overtime during the upcoming holiday week to help recover from the disruption.

In regions like Tainan, home to advanced semiconductor factories, the impact of the earthquake appeared milder initially, but companies like Tokyo Electron and Ebara reported minor damage to some facilities. Despite the challenges faced by Taiwanese companies in the aftermath of the earthquake, most expect the effects to be short-term and are working to resume operations as quickly as possible. Overall, Taiwan’s stock market saw a brief dip after the quake but recovered slightly by the end of the day, indicating resilience in the face of the natural disaster.

By editor

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