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Taiwan earthquake: ‘Terrifying’ aftershocks strike as scared locals sleep in tents – and search for missing continues | World News


“Terrifying” aftershocks have led to people sleeping in tents as the search for missing people continues following Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years.

More than 35 people are still missing, including a group of 38 workers who were on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park at the time of the quake.

The National Fire Agency said 660 people are trapped – including 615 people in the Tianxiang Youth Activity Centre and 24 tourists stranded in the national park.

Ten people have died, four of whom were in the park and were hit by falling rocks.

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How Taiwan’s earthquake unfolded

Helicopters and drones have been deployed to continue to look for people trapped on the cross-island highway – which goes across a gorge and connects the east and west coast of Taiwan.

Authorities said supplies will be dropped to anyone they find in the gorge, who may have become stuck after visiting the popular tourist destination.

It comes after 77 people who were trapped underground in the Dachingshui and Jinwen tunnels in Hualien County were rescued.

A general view as workers carry out operations while on an elevated platform of a firefighting truck at the site where a building collapsed, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 4, 2024. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Pic: Reuters

Taiwan‘s earthquake monitoring agency said Wednesday morning’s quake had a magnitude of 7.2 – while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.4 and Japan’s meteorological agency 7.7.

The epicentre of the initial earthquake was about 11 miles southwest of Hualien and about 22 miles deep.

A 52-year-old who gave her name as Yu said “terrifying” aftershocks went on into the night, making her too scared to sleep in her house, which she described as a “mess”.

She instead checked herself into a tent on a sports ground being used for temporary accommodation.

“The aftershocks were terrifying. It’s non-stop. I do not dare to sleep in the house,” she said.

A person stands in between tents set up in a school used as a shelter, following an earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 3, 2024. REUTERS/Walid Berrazeg
Tents set up for temporary accommodation. Pic: Reuters

More than 1,000 people were injured after the quake struck in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien county during morning rush hour on Wednesday at 7.58am local time (12.58am UK time).

Buildings have been seen balanced precariously at odd angles after the initial quake, while footage of a swimming pool shows a man in the water as the earthquake causes it to sway from side to side.

Read more:
Highway jolting up and down during quake
Rescue crews search earthquake rubble

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Taiwan earthquake triggers landslide

A firefighter works following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 4, 2024. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Pic: Reuters

Meanwhile there were concerns that the earthquake could lead to supply chain disruption of semiconductor chips from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) – the main contract chipmaker for companies like Apple and Nvidia – after they briefly evacuated some of their factories.

While most facilities are not close to the epicentre, TSMC said on Wednesday work was expected to resume overnight after inspections had taken place.

Dan Hutcheson, vice chair at Canadian research firm TechInsights said: “When you look at the business side of it – will this affect quarterly revenues? – the odds are it won’t. But it’s going to be a real headache for everyone involved to get this stuff back up and running.”

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