7.2 SR Earthquake Hits Taiwan, Strongest in the Last 25 Years

Taipei, MINA – Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years rocked the island during the morning rush hour, damaging buildings and roads and causing the deaths of four people.

The earthquake was the strongest since an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred in September 1999 and killed around 2,400 people. Al Jazeera reported.

Taiwan’s national fire agency said four people died in Hualien County and at least 57 people were injured in the earthquake that struck just before 8 a.m. (00:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency put the earthquake at 7.2 on the Richter scale, while the United States Geological Survey put it at 7.4 on the Richter scale.

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The disaster struck about 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) south-southwest of Hualien and was about 35 kilometers (21 miles) deep. Several aftershocks followed, and the USGS said the next one had a magnitude of 6.5 and a depth of 11.8 kilometers (7 miles). Shallower earthquakes tend to cause more surface damage.

Train services were suspended across the island of 23 million people, as was subway service in Taipei, where a newly built overhead line was partially separated.

Traffic along the east coast came to a near standstill, with landslides and falling debris hitting tunnels and highways in mountainous areas, causing damage to vehicles.

Although the quake struck during the morning rush hour, the initial panic dissipated quickly on the island, which is frequently shaken by quakes and has prepared for them with drills in schools and notices issued via public media and mobile phones.

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Taiwan’s worst earthquake in recent years occurred on September 21, 1999, with a magnitude of 7.6, causing 2,400 deaths, injuring around 100,000 people and destroying thousands of buildings. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)