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Taiwan earthquake – latest news: Race against time to search for 18 still missing as death toll rises

Rescuers have been searching for missing 18 people and working to reach others stranded after Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years sent boulders and mud tumbling down mountains, blocking roads and shaking buildings.

Ten people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the powerful 7.4-magnitude quake.

It struck during Wednesday’s morning rush hour, sending schoolchildren rushing outdoors and families fleeing their apartments through windows. The ground floors of some buildings collapsed, leaving them leaning at precarious angles.

Authorities did not send out the usual alerts because they were expecting a smaller quake.

Around 200 residents near the epicentre were staying in temporary shelters or tents on Thursday following hundreds of aftershocks.

Dozens of workers who had been unable to leave a quarry because of damaged roads were freed, and six workers from another quarry were airlifted out.

Some 700 employees and guests at a hotel in the national park remained cut off, but authorities said they were safe and had food and water.

Key Points

  • Death toll in Taiwan earthquake rises to 10

  • 300 aftershocks leave Taiwan citizens ‘terrified’

  • Strongest earthquake in 25 years hits Taiwan causing widespread damages

  • China offers disaster relief assistance to Taiwan

Australian and Canadian nationals among 18 missing after Taiwan earthquake

04:11 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwanese rescuers looked for 18 people still missing on Friday after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island’s mountainous and scenic east coast.

Taiwan’s fire department put the number of people still missing at 18, including four foreigners previously listed as being Indian, Canadian and Australian whose location it said was unknown.

Another six people are missing on a hiking trail, and a 45-person rescue team is trying to reach them, it added.

Rescuers have confirmed that around 400 people cut off at a luxury hotel in the Taroko Gorge national park are safe, and has been sending supplies with the help of helicopters and taking out those injured.

Survivor says rocks began to fall ‘like bullets'

Thursday 4 April 2024 22:49 , Holly Evans

One survivor of the Taiwan earthquake has recalled how tremors unleashed rockslides “like bullets” around the coal mine he was working at.

“The mountain started raining rocks like bullets, we had nowhere to escape to, everyone ran beside the sandbags for cover,” the survivor, identified by his surname Chu, told Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Another woman who worked opposite the collapsed Uranus building in Hualien city, told the BBC: “It was so shaky I could barely walk. I was really scared. I felt my legs were not in control anymore. Thanks to my colleagues, they dragged me so we could get out.”

“There was a lot of dust coming into our building on our way out... We [later] realised that it came from the building across the street that had partially collapsed.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

In pictures: The damage

Thursday 4 April 2024 21:55 , Jane Dalton

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNA/AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (CNA/AFP/Getty)
(CNA/AFP/Getty)

Taiwan rocked by 400 aftershocks

Thursday 4 April 2024 20:30 , Jane Dalton

Full report:

Taiwan rocked by 400 aftershocks after deadly earthquake as hundreds still cut off

Search for missing goes on as miners freed

Thursday 4 April 2024 19:02 , Jane Dalton

Rescuers searched Thursday for missing people and worked to reach hundreds stranded.

Liu Zhong-da, a 58-year-old construction worker, and his colleague were on their way to work on a road in the national park and were inside a tunnel when the quake hit. A boulder blocked their exit and they were trapped along with some other people.

“We almost got covered up,” Liu said. “No communication could be made (to the outside world).” Liu and his colleague were rescued Thursday afternoon and received a quick medical checkup outside the park.

About 60 workers who had been unable to leave a quarry because of damaged roads were also freed, authorities said. Six workers from another quarry were airlifted out.

A relative hugs a man who was rescued (REUTERS)
A relative hugs a man who was rescued (REUTERS)

Watch: TV presenters rocked by quake during live broadcast

Thursday 4 April 2024 18:00 , Jane Dalton

TV presenters rocked by Taiwan earthquake during live broadcast

Watch: Moment nurses rush to protect newborn babies during earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 16:58 , Jane Dalton

Taiwan: Moment nurses rush to protect newborn babies during earthquake

Roads still closed but rail service resumes

Thursday 4 April 2024 15:45 , Jane Dalton

Some residents of the eastern coastal city of Hualien near the epicentre of the quake were staying in tents, and the main road linking the county to the capital, Taipei, was still closed on Thursday afternoon, but much of Taiwan‘s day-to-day life has returned to normal.

Some local rail service to Hualien resumed, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, one of the world’s most important manufacturers of computer chips, restarted most operations, the Central News Agency reported.

The powerful quake struck during the morning rush hour a day earlier, sending schoolchildren rushing outdoors and families fleeing their apartments through the windows.

The ground floors of some buildings collapsed, leaving them leaning at precarious angles. Though the island is regularly rattled by earthquakes and generally well prepared, authorities did not send out the usual alerts because they were expecting a smaller temblor.

People look on as workers carry out operations while on an elevated platform of a firefighting truck at the site where a building collapsed (REUTERS)
People look on as workers carry out operations while on an elevated platform of a firefighting truck at the site where a building collapsed (REUTERS)

Hotel staff found safe

Thursday 4 April 2024 14:40 , Jane Dalton

Rescue workers have found most of the roughly 50 hotel workers marooned on a main road as they headed to a resort in the Taroko Gorge national park.

They also reached the hotel in the gorge, cut off by the quake, and established all 400 people there were safe. The fire department said work would continue in the morning to re-open the road.

The discovery of a dead body on a hiking trail near the entrance to the gorge took the total deaths to 10.

The agriculture ministry urged people to keep away from the mountains because of the risk of falling rocks and the formation of “barrier lakes” as water pools behind unstable debris.

Two trapped workers of Taroko National Park have a physical examination after being rescued (AP)
Two trapped workers of Taroko National Park have a physical examination after being rescued (AP)

Six miners plucked to safety

Thursday 4 April 2024 14:04 , Jane Dalton

A helicopter has plucked to safety six people stranded in a mining area, and confirmed all were safe.

The rescue of the miners, who had been trapped on a cliff, was dramatic after the quake cut off roads into Hualien’s soaring mountains, footage showed.

The authorities said four foreigners remained unaccounted for - one Canadian, one Indian and two Australians.

A drone view shows mine workers trapped in a landslide-struck mountainous area (via REUTERS)
A drone view shows mine workers trapped in a landslide-struck mountainous area (via REUTERS)

Watch: Moment nurses rush to protect newborns

Thursday 4 April 2024 13:50 , Jane Dalton

Explained: Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes

Thursday 4 April 2024 13:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes yet their toll on the high-tech island’s 23 million residents has been relatively contained thanks to its excellent earthquake preparedness, experts say.

Taiwan lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” the line of seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

The area is particularly vulnerable to temblors due to the tension accumulated from the interactions of two tectonic plates, the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate, which may lead to sudden releases in the form of earthquakes.

More here.

Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes and so well prepared to withstand them?

Watch: Taiwan earthquake rescue efforts continue as buildings destroyed

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:58 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Watch live as rescue efforts continue today (4 April) in Hualien following a deadly earthquake that has killed nine people and left thousands injured.

At least 40 people remain missing after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast, killing 10 people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

Watch: Taiwan earthquake rescue efforts continue as buildings destroyed in Hualien

Helicopter rescues Taiwan miners

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A helicopter plucked to safety on Thursday six people stranded in a mining area after Taiwan's worst earthquake in 25 years.

The number of injured in Wednesday's 7.4-magnitude quake rose to 1,058, authorities said.

Those trapped in buildings in the worst-hit city of Hualien have all been rescued, but many residents unnerved by more than 300 aftershocks spent the night outdoors.

In pics: Aftermath of a massive earthquake in Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Linda Chen, 48, walks near the damaged walls (REUTERS)
Linda Chen, 48, walks near the damaged walls (REUTERS)
A relative hugs a man who was rescued from a remote area, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan (REUTERS)
A relative hugs a man who was rescued from a remote area, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan (REUTERS)

Watch live: Taiwan earthquake rescue efforts continue as buildings destroyed in Hualien

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Watch live as rescue efforts continue today (4 April) in Hualien following a deadly earthquake that has killed nine people and left thousands injured.

Watch: Taiwan earthquake rescue efforts continue as buildings destroyed in Hualien

Taiwan condemns ‘shameless’ China

Thursday 4 April 2024 11:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwan on Thursday condemned China as “shameless” after Beijing’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations thanked the world for its concern about a strong earthquake on the island.

China claims the self-governed island as its own territory and also claims the right to speak for it on the international stage.

China is concerned about the damage and has expressed condolences to Taiwan and offered aid, said Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, according to a transcript of his remarks.

“We thank the international community for its expressions of sympathy and concern,” he added.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry expressed anger at the remarks.

The ministry “solemnly condemns China’s shameless use of the Taiwan earthquake to conduct cognitive operations internationally”, it said, using Taiwan’s normal term for what it views as Chinese psychological warfare.

300 aftershocks leave Taiwan citizens ‘terrified’

Thursday 4 April 2024 11:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwan’s weather administration has recorded more than 300 aftershocks from Wednesday morning into Thursday.

The aftershocks have forced many people on the island to sleep in tents outside their houses or in emergency shelters.

Hendri Sutrisno, a 30-year-old professor at Hualien Dong Hwa University, spent Wednesday night in a tent with his wife and baby, fearing aftershocks.

“We ran out of the apartment and waited for four to five hours before we went up again to grab some important stuff such as our wallet. And then we’re staying here ever since to assess the situation,” he told the Associated Press.

“I’m afraid of aftershocks, and I don’t know how bad the shaking will be,” a 52-year-old Hualien resident, who gave her family name as Yu, told Reuters.

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

Firefighters evacuate a body from the Taroko National Park, Taiwan (AP)
Firefighters evacuate a body from the Taroko National Park, Taiwan (AP)

Death toll in Taiwan earthquake rises to 10

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:53 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

At least 10 people have now been confirmed dead after the powerful earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday.

Of the 10 dead, at least four were killed inside Taroko National Park, a Hualien county tourist attraction famous for canyons and cliffs about 150km from capital Taipei.

One person was found dead in a damaged building and another was found in the Ho Ren Quarry.

Authorities today retrieved another body from a trail.

Trapped Canadian nationals rescued after Taiwan quake

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Two Canadian nationals were among the hikers rescued on Wednesday evening from the Taroko Gorge’s Shakadang trail in Taiwan.

The hikers, identified as a 29-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman, were a part of a 14-member group hiking on trail when a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island.

Twelve people from the group made their way out to the trailhead, but two remaining hikers required a lengthy search and rescue, TaiwanNews reported.

Nearly 700 people still stranded a day after earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:27 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

About 690 people were either still trapped or out of contact on Thursday in Taiwan, including over 600 who were stranded inside a hotel called Silks Place Taroko, the National Fire Agency said. Authorities said the employees and guests at the hotel were safe and work to repair the roads to the facility was close to completion.

Others who were reported to be trapped, including two dozen tourists and six university students, were safe too, they said.

Authorities also said some 60 workers, who had been unable to leave a quarry due to blocked and damaged roads, were freed. Central News Agency said all of them got off the mountain safely around noon.

Six workers from another quarry were airlifted out.

Around 40 people, mostly hotel employees earlier reported to be in the national park, were still out of contact with authorities.

Watch: TV presenters rocked by Taiwan earthquake during live broadcast

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwan’s SETTV captured the moment when the magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit live as a female presenter described strong shaking while trying to keep her balance.

The powerful earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday was captured by the cameras in a newsroom during a live broadcast.

As the quake hit, anchors on air kept speaking and delivering news while the studio was visibly shaking.

TV presenters rocked by Taiwan earthquake during live broadcast

Earthquake survivor recall rocks falling like ‘bullets’

Thursday 4 April 2024 09:27 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A coal mine worker said the strong earthquake in Taiwan unleashed powerful landslides with rocks falling “like bullets”.

A 7.4 magnitude quake on Wednesday set off at least nine landslides and debris came down from hillsides onto Hualien’s Suhua Highway, which runs down the east coast.

Some people stranded in tunnels and near a national park were airlifted to safety on Wednesday, but at least 50 others remain missing.

“The mountain started raining rocks like bullets, we had nowhere to escape to, everyone ran beside the sandbags for cover,” the survivor, identified by his family name Chu, told Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Ocean Tsai, a resident of Hualien City, recalled: “I was just getting out of bed when a clothes rack and a low cabinet fell over.”

She told BBC: “It kept getting stronger, and I started worrying about our belongings at home. Fortunately, apart from the motorcycle tipping over, the damage was minimal.”

Watch live view of Taipei skyline after Taiwan earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 09:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Watch a live view of Taipei after a deadly earthquake rocked the entire island early, collapsing buildings and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.

At least 50 people remain missing after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast on Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

Live view of Taipei skyline after Taiwan earthquake as search for survivors continues

Mapped: Huge Taiwan earthquake wrecks havoc in Hualien

Thursday 4 April 2024 08:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake has caused widespread destruction across Taiwan, with its epicentre in the scenic beach town of Hualien.

Rescue efforts are focused in Hualien city, from where most of the casualties and damage have been reported.

Shweta Sharma reports.

Taiwanese soldiers pressed into rescue and rebuilding operation

Thursday 4 April 2024 08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

“Don’t worry, we got this,” says Taiwan’s defence ministry in a post on social media.

Rescuers search for people out of contact in Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 07:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Rescuers searched for dozens of people out of contact Thursday a day after Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century damaged buildings, caused multiple rockslides and killed nine people.

In the eastern coastal city of Hualien near the epicenter, workers used an excavator to put construction materials around the base of a damaged building to stabilize it and prevent a collapse.

Mayor Hsu Chen-wei previously said 48 residential buildings were damaged. Some of the damaged buildings tilted at precarious angles with their ground floors crushed.

More than 1,000 people were injured in the quake that struck Wednesday morning. Of the nine dead, at least four were struck inside Taroko National Park, a tourist attraction famous for its scenes of canyons and cliffs in Hualien County, about 150km from the island’s capital Taipei.

More here.

Rescuers search for people out of contact in Taiwan after strong earthquake

'Terrified' residents forced to sleep in tents due to barrage of aftershocks

Thursday 4 April 2024 07:12 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Several residents in Hualien City spent the night on Wednesday in tents or emergency shelters due to a series of nearly 50 aftershocks that continued to jolt the island following a powerful earthquake.

“I’m afraid of aftershocks, and I don’t know how bad the shaking will be,” a 52-year-old Hualien resident, who gave her family name as Yu, told Reuters.

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

Relief efforts after Taiwan's magnitude 7.4 earthquake (EPA)
Relief efforts after Taiwan's magnitude 7.4 earthquake (EPA)
Tents donated by the Red Cross Society of Taiwan are set up at a primary-school-turned shelter (EPA)
Tents donated by the Red Cross Society of Taiwan are set up at a primary-school-turned shelter (EPA)

In pics: Aftermath of powerful earthquake in Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
Residents carrying their belongings walk out of a damaged building after entering it in small groups to collect their belongings (REUTERS)
Residents carrying their belongings walk out of a damaged building after entering it in small groups to collect their belongings (REUTERS)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Live: View of Taipei skyline after 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:10 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Over 50 aftershocks force Taiwanese citizens to sleep in tents

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:02 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

More than 50 aftershocks since Wednesday morning forced many people in Taiwan to sleep in tents outside their houses or in emergency shelters.

Taiwan’s weather agency has warned citizens to brace for more aftershocks between magnitudes of 6.5 to 7 in the next three days.

“I’m afraid of aftershocks, and I don’t know how bad the shaking will be,” a 52-year-old Hualien resident, who gave her family name as Yu, told Reuters.

Hualien City mayor, Hsu Chen-Wei, said all residents and businesses in buildings that were in a dangerous state had been evacuated and that the demolition work was underway on four buildings.

Strong earthquake off the coast of Honshu in Japan

Thursday 4 April 2024 05:11 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

An earthquake of magnitude 6 struck off the east coast of Honshu, Japan on Thursday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.

The quake was recorded at a depth of 32km, just a day after a 7.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan, triggering tsunami warnings for Japan.

Taipei resident says she was brought to tears by the earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 05:00 , Mike Bedigan

A Taipei resident has said she was sleeping in her fifth-floor apartment when she was woken up by the violent shaking from the earthquake.

Hsien-hsuen Keng said: “Earthquakes are a common occurrence, and I’ve grown accustomed to them. But today was the first time I was scared to tears by an earthquake.

“I was awakened by the earthquake. I had never felt such intense shaking before,” she said.

She said she had witnessed such a powerful quake for the first time in her life “apart from earthquake drills in elementary school”.

Lin Jung, 36 who manages a sneaker shop in Hualien, recounted being at home, preparing to take his 16-month-old baby to a medical appointment when the earthquake hit.

Initially experiencing what seemed like minor tremors, he described how the seismic activity swiftly escalated into intense shaking.

A ceiling lamp’s glass cover fell and broke, prompting him to prioritise shielding his baby from harm amidst the chaos.

“All I could do was protect my baby.”

 (AP)
(AP)

Chinese aircraft surround Taiwan as island reels from powerful earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:46 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Taiwan on Wednesday detected 30 Chinese aircraft and nine vessels around the island when it was hit by the strongest earthquake in over two decades.

At least 20 of the aircraft entered Taiwan’s northern, middle line and southwestern air defence identification zone, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

“ROC (Republic of China) Armed Forces have monitored the situation and employed CAP aircraft, navy vessels, and coastal missile systems in response to the detected activities,” it said.

China offers disaster relief assistance to Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:30 , Mike Bedigan

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said it was highly concerned with the earthquake that hit the island and was willing to provide disaster relief assistance, according to Chinese state media on Wednesday.

“Relevant parties in the mainland were highly concerned and express their sincere condolences to the Taiwan compatriots affected by the disaster,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said.

However, offers of assistance are unlikely to be accepted, given the fraught relations between the island and the mainland.

China and Taiwan remain locked in a longstanding territorial dispute as Beijing lays claim on the island as its own despite not controlling the self-ruling democratic island.

The effects of the earthquake were felt on mainland China and as far away as Taiwanese-controlled islands off the coast of China, said Wu Chien-fu, the head of Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring bureau.

Over 50 still missing a day after powerful earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:26 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

More than 50 people remained missing in Taiwan, a day after the island was jolted by a powerful 7.24 magnitude earthquake.

Taiwan’s fire department said the number of injuries had reached 1,038, putting the total number of missing at 52.

Around a dozen hotel workers on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park had been located, with 38 still listed as missing.

The fire department said its rescue work was focused on people trapped on the cross-island highway, which traverses the gorge connecting Hualien with Taiwan’s west coast and is a popular tourist destination.

Authorities are using drones and helicopters to look for people in the gorge and will drop supplies to them when they are found.

Watch: Buildings partially collapsed after 7.4-magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:00 , Mike Bedigan

'Largest earthquake since New Year's Day quake'

Thursday 4 April 2024 03:30 , Mike Bedigan

Experts are saying that the severity of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and its impact on Taiwan since the New Year’s Day quake in Japan.

"This magnitude 7.4 earthquake on the central east coast of Taiwan is the largest earthquake to have occurred since the New Year's Day earthquake on the Noto Peninsula of Japan," Adam Pascale, chief scientist at the Seismology Research Centre, said.

The reason for the high magnitude is Taiwan's unique location, professor Meghan S Miller from The Australian National University, explained.

"The M7.4 earthquake that occurred 35 km beneath the east coast of Taiwan was the result of the convergence between the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate. This complex tectonic setting has produced many other large (M7+) earthquakes historically," Dr Miller said.

World leaders send messages of support to Taiwan following devastating earthquake

Thursday 4 April 2024 03:00 , Mike Bedigan

Indian Prime Minister sends condolences to Taiwan

Thursday 4 April 2024 02:30 , Mike Bedigan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his condolences to Taiwan following the huge earthquake on Wednesday.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen later responded to Mr Modi, thanking him for his “solidarity”.

In pictures: Rescue teams search for survivors

Thursday 4 April 2024 02:00 , Mike Bedigan

Members of a rescue team searching for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien (TAIWAN'S NATIONAL FIRE AGENCY/AF)
Members of a rescue team searching for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien (TAIWAN'S NATIONAL FIRE AGENCY/AF)
Members of a search and rescue team look for victims inside a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, eastern Taiwan (AP)
Members of a search and rescue team look for victims inside a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, eastern Taiwan (AP)
Fire fighters search inside a building for rescue operation. The Uranus Building is tilted at an angle of more than 60 degrees, and one person is still missing (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Fire fighters search inside a building for rescue operation. The Uranus Building is tilted at an angle of more than 60 degrees, and one person is still missing (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Mapped: Where did the earthquake occur?

Thursday 4 April 2024 01:30 , Mike Bedigan

A powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake has caused widespread destruction across Taiwan, with its epicentre in the scenic beach town of Hualien.

Seven people have been confirmed dead so far as the search and rescue mission continues after the tremors dangerously tilted buildings, caused landslides and brought air, train and road traffic to a standstill for hours.

Rescue efforts are focused in Hualien city, from where most of the casualties and damage have been reported.

Read more:

Mapped: Huge earthquake wrecks havoc in Taiwan and triggers tsunamis

Photo: Taiwan’s president-elect surveys damage in Hualien

Thursday 4 April 2024 01:00 , Mike Bedigan

Taiwan’s president-elect and current Vice-President Lai Ching-te (3rd R) surveying damage in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Taiwan’s president-elect and current Vice-President Lai Ching-te (3rd R) surveying damage in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan president thanks first responders

Thursday 4 April 2024 00:30 , Mike Bedigan

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen thanked people for sending messages of support and first responders for saving lives after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake this morning and its aftershocks.

“I’m deeply grateful for the messages of support we have received from around the world, and to our first responders for their life-saving work,” the Taiwanese president wrote on X.

“My heart is with everyone affected. Please keep in touch with loved ones, and stay safe,” Ms Tsai said.

Watch live: Taiwan earthquake rescue operation underway as at least nine people dead

Thursday 4 April 2024 00:00 , Mike Bedigan

Watch: Taiwan earthquake rescue operation underway after 7.4 magnitude quake strikes

‘The biggest earthquake I have ever experienced'

Wednesday 3 April 2024 23:30 , Mike Bedigan

A woman who runs bed-and-breakfast accommodation in Hualien city said she scrambled to calm her guests who were scared by the quake.

"This is the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced," the woman, who asked to be identified only by her family name, Chan, told Reuters.

The government previously put the number of injured at 946, though other reports place the numbers at over 1,000.

ICYMI: Taiwan rocked by biggest earthquake in 25 years with nine confirmed dead

Wednesday 3 April 2024 23:00 , Mike Bedigan

At least nine people were killed and more than 900 injured when Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in 25 years rocked the island during the morning rush hour, prompting authorities to issue tsunami warnings.

Read more from The Independent’s Alisha Rahaman Sarkar:

Taiwan rocked by biggest earthquake in 25 years with nine confirmed dead

In pictures: Destruction in Taiwan following 7.4 magnitude quake

Wednesday 3 April 2024 22:30 , Mike Bedigan

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (CNA/AFP/Getty)
(CNA/AFP/Getty)
 (CNA/AFP/Getty)
(CNA/AFP/Getty)
 (Hualien Fire Department/AFP/Getty)
(Hualien Fire Department/AFP/Getty)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes and so well prepared to withstand them?

Wednesday 3 April 2024 22:00 , Mike Bedigan

Taiwan was struck Wednesday by its most powerful earthquake in a quarter of a century. At least nine people were killed and more than 1,000 reportedly were injured, with buildings and highways damaged and train service interrupted.

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes, but well equipped to deal with them, according to experts.

Here’s why:

Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes and so well prepared to withstand them?

Taiwan earthquake numbers

Wednesday 3 April 2024 21:30 , Mike Bedigan

Here are some of the numbers from the earthquake in Taiwan so far. Numbers have been sourced from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Taiwanese officials and local news outlets, as well as international news agencies.

- The quake was measured as being at 7.4 magnitude

- At least 58 aftershocks followed, with one of magnitude 6.4

- At least 26 buildings collapsed; 15 were located in Hualien City

- The event set off at least 24 landslides on Suhua Highway in Hualien

- Nine people have been confirmed as dead, with over 1,000 injured

- Dozens of people were stranded and others remain missing

Shockwaves felt across Taiwan

Wednesday 3 April 2024 21:00 , Mike Bedigan

The power of Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude quake was felt all over Taiwan and surrounding areas.

Tremors were captured live as news anchors delivered their bulletins, steadying themselves against giant screens as their sets swayed and lighting rigs rocked back and forth overhead.

Commuters were rocked from side to side, with footage showing some bracing themselves as the train swayed violently before stopping on the tracks, with one woman forced to crouch down. Sighs of relief were let out as the shockwaves subside.

Elsewhere, people were forced to evacuate houses, and CCTV footage captured items falling from shelves and breaking inside local cafes.

Watch: Taiwan: Commuters rocked on train by 7.4 magnitude earthquake

Wednesday 3 April 2024 20:30 , Mike Bedigan

Taiwan quake felt by surrounding countries

Wednesday 3 April 2024 20:00 , Mike Bedigan

Wednesday’s earthquake that struck Taiwan’s east coast was measured at a 7.4-magnitude, which was felt by neighbouring nations.

In Japan, the weather agency put the quake’s magnitude at 7.7, saying several small tsunami waves reached parts of the southern prefecture of Okinawa. The tsunami warnings were later downgraded to an advisory.

In the Philippines, seismology officials warned coastal residents in several provinces to move to higher ground.

Chinese state media also said the quake was felt in the southeastern province of Fujian, while a Reuters witness said it was also felt in the commercial hub of Shanghai.

‘God has to be fair'

Wednesday 3 April 2024 19:33 , Mike Bedigan

Linda Chen, 48, told news agency Reuters that her apartment in downtown Hualien city had been so badly damaged in an earlier earthquake in 2018 that they had to move house.

Her new apartment block was also damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake. Nine people have been killed and more than 900 people were injured, according to authorities.

“We worry the house could collapse anytime,” Ms Chen told Reters.

“We thought we had already experienced it once in Hualien and it would not hit us again, because God has to be fair. We are frightened. We are so nervous.”

Pictured: Collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan

Wednesday 3 April 2024 17:51 , Alexander Butler

Workers walk at the site where a building collapsed, following an earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan (REUTERS)
Workers walk at the site where a building collapsed, following an earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan (REUTERS)

Woman died trying saving cat

Wednesday 3 April 2024 17:17 , Alexander Butler

A Taiwanese woman died in the earthquake after going back into a collapsing building to save her cat, according to local media reports.

The woman, named as Kang, was found stuck under a beam. There was no response after being called by search and rescue personnel, according to Sanli News.

Beijing offers aid to Taiwan

Wednesday 3 April 2024 17:02 , Alexander Butler

Beijing expressed “heartfelt condolences” and offered aid to Taipei following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that has left up to 963 dead.

Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said the mainland was closely monitoring developments and is willing to provide support for disaster relief efforts.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.58am local time, was located about 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, said the US Geological Survey.

US ready to provide ‘any necessary assistance'

Wednesday 3 April 2024 16:47 , Alexander Butler

The United States will provide Taiwan with “any necessary assistance” and it is monitoring the earthquake’s potential impact on Japan.

US national security council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said: “We are monitoring reports of the earthquake impacting Taiwan and continue to monitor its potential impact on Japan.

“The United States stands ready to provide any necessary assistance. All those affected are in our prayers.”

‘It was like a mountain collapsed’, survivor recounts earthquake

Wednesday 3 April 2024 16:44 , Alexander Butler

A survivor of the earthquake said a warehouse crumbling was like watching a mountain collapse, according to news agency AFP.

The witness, named by AFP only as Liu, watched intently as rescuers carefully picked their way through the remains of the warehouse.

Tremors set off at least nine landslides and debris collapsed hillsides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, which runs down the east coast of Taiwan.

Wednesday 3 April 2024 15:30 , Stuti Mishra

The wreckage of a printing company’s factory after it collapsed following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in New Taipei, Taiwan (EPA)
The wreckage of a printing company’s factory after it collapsed following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in New Taipei, Taiwan (EPA)
Military personnel aiding in rescue and relief efforts by searching for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (Taiwan's Military News Agency (M)
Military personnel aiding in rescue and relief efforts by searching for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (Taiwan's Military News Agency (M)
An employee clearing broken bottles on the floor of a supermarket in Yilan, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)
An employee clearing broken bottles on the floor of a supermarket in Yilan, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)

CCTV captures moment deadly Taiwan earthquake hits

Wednesday 3 April 2024 15:00 , Stuti Mishra

Taiwan earthquake in numbers

Wednesday 3 April 2024 14:30 , Stuti Mishra

  • Nine people confirmed dead

  • At least 882 injured

  • More than 70 people remain trapped

  • Fifty people on minibuses missing after phone networks go down

Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes?

Wednesday 3 April 2024 14:00 , Stuti Mishra

Taiwan was struck Wednesday by its most powerful earthquake in a quarter of a century. At least nine people were killed and hundreds injured, buildings and highways damaged and train service interrupted.

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes yet their toll on the high-tech island’s 23 million residents has been relatively contained thanks to its excellent earthquake preparedness, experts say.

Here is a closer look at Taiwan’s history of earthquakes:

Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes and so well prepared to withstand them?

Taiwan: Commuters rocked on train by 7.4 magnitude earthquake

Wednesday 3 April 2024 13:30 , Stuti Mishra

Dozens trapped in tunnels along perilous highway

Wednesday 3 April 2024 13:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Dozens are understood to be trapped in highway tunnels following the earthquake in Taiwan.

According to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency (NFA), people are trapped in two road tunnels along the Suhua Highway, which runs down the east coast.

It is one of the most dangerous roads in Taiwan, straddling between the mountainside and ocean.

Rescue teams are working to get to those trapped, with CNN reporting that 75 people who were stranded in various tunnels had been rescued in the morning.

 (HUALIEN FIRE DEPARTMENT/AFP via)
(HUALIEN FIRE DEPARTMENT/AFP via)

Map: Epicentre of 7.4 earthquake in Taiwan

Wednesday 3 April 2024 12:30 , Stuti Mishra