Taiwan Hit by Deadly 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake, Sparking Tsunami Warnings


A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, marking the strongest tremor to hit the island in over 25 years. The earthquake claimed the lives of four individuals, injured over 50 people, and led to the collapse of at least 26 buildings, with rescue operations ongoing.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien. Taiwan’s government confirmed the four fatalities in Hualien and stated that over 20 individuals remain trapped under debris.

Following the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued for southern Japan and the Philippines, although these warnings were later lifted. Japan’s weather agency reported small tsunami waves reaching parts of Okinawa, while the Philippines Seismology Agency urged coastal residents to evacuate to higher ground.

In Taiwan, several buildings in Hualien were left at precarious angles, and aftershocks continued to be felt in Taipei. The city government reported no major damage, and the Taipei MRT resumed services shortly after the quake. However, over 87,000 households were left without power.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, a major semiconductor company, evacuated some of its fabrication plants as a precautionary measure. The company stated that its safety systems were functioning normally.

The earthquake is the most severe to hit Taiwan since 1999, when a 7.6 magnitude quake resulted in significant casualties and damage. This recent earthquake registered as an “Upper 6” intensity on the 1-7 intensity scale in Hualien County, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration, indicating extensive damage to un-reinforced concrete-block walls and making movement without crawling difficult.

The Taiwanese government and local authorities continue to assess the damage and provide assistance to those affected by the earthquake.