Earthquake Shakes Taiwan | God's World News

Earthquake Shakes Taiwan

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    People stand near a partially collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3, 2024. (TVBS via AP)
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    Residents rescue a child from a partially collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3, 2024. (TVBS via AP)
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    A building tilts after a major earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3, 2024. (Hualien City Government via AP)
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The strongest earthquake in 25 years rocked Taiwan during morning rush hour on April 3. The quake killed nine people, trapped dozens in quarries, and sent some residents scrambling out of damaged buildings.

According to Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency, Wednesday’s 8 o’clock a.m. quake was 7.2 in magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.4. The temblor struck about 11 miles off Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast. Multiple aftershocks followed. Following the quake, some Hualien buildings leaned at severe angles with ground floors crushed.

Just over 93 miles away in the capital of Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings. Schools evacuated students to sports fields and issued yellow safety helmets. Some children covered themselves with textbooks to guard against falling objects as aftershocks continued.

Television images showed neighbors and rescue workers lifting residents, including a toddler, through windows and onto streets after the shaking caused doors to stick shut.

About 100 miles away, people in Shanghai and several provinces along China’s southeastern coast also felt the quake.

Taiwan lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” That line of seismic faults encircles the Pacific Ocean. Most of the world’s earthquakes occur around the ring.

Taiwan is regularly jolted by quakes. Its population is among the best prepared for them. But authorities had expected a relatively mild earthquake and did not send alerts. The actual event was strong enough to scare even people who had previously experienced such shaking.

“I’ve grown accustomed to [earthquakes]. But today was the first time I was scared to tears by an earthquake,” says Hsien-hsuen Keng. The Taipei resident lives in a fifth-floor apartment. “I was awakened by the earthquake. I had never felt such intense shaking before.”

Sadly, nine people died in the quake. The local United Daily News reported that three were hikers killed in rockslides in Taroko National Park. Another was a van driver in the same area.

Current reports state that 934 people were injured.

Authorities lost contact with 50 people in minibuses in the national park after the quake downed phone networks. In addition, 64 people became trapped in one rock quarry and six in another, Taiwan’s national fire agency says.

Traffic along the east coast was at a near standstill after the earthquake. Landslides and falling debris hit tunnels and highways. Train service stopped across the island of 23 million people, with some tracks twisted by the stress of the quake. In Taipei, sections of the subway system split apart but did not collapse.

The early panic after the quake quickly faded. The island prepares for such events with drills at schools and notices issued via public media and mobile phone. Earthquake scientist Stephen Gao calls Taiwan’s readiness among the most advanced in the world.

By noon on Wednesday, the metro station in a Taipei suburb was again buzzing with people commuting to jobs and arriving to visit hot springs.

The economic fallout from the quake has yet to be calculated. But Taiwan is the leading manufacturer of the world’s most sophisticated computer chips and other high-tech items. Many are highly sensitive to seismic events.

Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC supplies semiconductors to companies such as Apple. The company evacuated employees from some of its factories in Hsinchu, near Taipei. However, authorities say all factories in the city’s science park are functioning as normal.

Pray for those harmed by the quake.

You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. — Psalm 60:2