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Nine die in Taiwan earthquake; tsunami warning in Japan

Rescue workers near a leaning building after the earthquake Associated Press/Photo by Johnson Lai

Nine die in Taiwan earthquake; tsunami warning in Japan

Taiwan’s eastern city of Hualien experienced the worst of Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude earthquake, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 900 others. Authorities said they had expected a milder quake and failed to send public warnings. A total of 152 people are also trapped, according to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency. It is the island’s strongest tremor in 25 years. Nearly a dozen leaders worldwide have offered support and aid to Taiwan. The railway should re-open on Thursday, but search and rescue operations take priority, said Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te.

How extensive is the damage? The earthquake and residual aftershocks triggered 24 landslides and damaged 35 roads, bridges, and tunnels, causing a major highway to close. Footage shows buildings shifted into precarious angles or crumbling due to the quake.

Are there concerns about a tsunami being triggered? Taiwanese officials issued a tsunami warning for the island after the quake, which has since been lifted. The neighboring country of Japan experienced foot-tall waves less than 20 minutes after the tremor. A tsunami warning and an evacuation advisory were issued for its southern coastal areas but have since been removed.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read a report on Taiwan’s last devastating earthquake in 1999 that killed over 2,000 people.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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