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Strong earthquake hits southern Taiwan; 1 killed, 146 injured

TAIPEI - A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the sparsely populated southeastern part of Taiwan on Sunday, killing at least one person, derailing train carriages, causing a convenience store to collapse and trapping people on a mountain.

The weather bureau said the epicentre was in Taitung county, and followed a 6.4 magnitude temblor on Saturday evening in the same area, which caused no casualties.

The US Geological Survey measured Sunday’s quake at a magnitude 7.2 and at a depth of 10km.

A worker at a cement factory in the town of Yuli died after equipment collapsed on him during the earthquake, Taiwan’s state-run Central News Agency said.

Taiwan’s fire department said two people were trapped in a building housing a 7-11 convenience store that collapsed in Yuli, and two people had been rescued, while three people whose vehicle fell off a damaged bridge were rescued and taken to hospital.

Video footage posted by Taiwan’s Central News Agency showed panicked residents running towards the building, which had caved in and sent up a thick cloud of dust.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said three carriages came off the rails at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan after part of the platform canopy collapsed. The fire department said one person was injured.

Photographs released by Central News Agency showed the train’s six carriages leaning at an angle in the station.

TRA said the 20 onboard passengers were evacuated and no injuries were reported.

 

【災情整理】...

Posted by 中央社新聞粉絲團 on Sunday, September 18, 2022

Around 68 people are also trapped on the scenic Chike mountain area by a blocked road, though there are no injuries, the department added.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a warning for Taiwan after the tremor but later lifted the alert. Japan’s weather agency lifted a tsunami warning for part of Okinawa prefecture.

The quake could be felt across Taiwan, the weather bureau said. Buildings shook briefly in the capital Taipei and the southwestern city of Kaohsiung, with residents posting videos of chandeliers and paintings swaying on social media.

Science parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, home to major semiconductor factories, said there was no impact on operations.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said there was “no known significant impact for now”.

In one video posted online, a man said he was trapped on a bridge where the road at either end had collapsed into a twisted mess of tarmac and concrete.

“This is troublesome,” he could be heard saying. “The whole bridge is broken”.

In another Facebook post, a person named Ou Chin Te shared footage from the swimming pool on the 60th floor of The One – a skyscraper in Kaohsiung and Taiwan’s fourth-highest building.

The tremors had turned the pool into a wobbly mass of waves.

“It’s shaking super big, I’m on 60th floor, it’s so scary,” a laughing man could be heard saying in the video.

A 6.6-magnitude quake hit the same region on Saturday and there have been multiple tremors since, with minimal damage in what is a mountainous and sparsely populated rural region. But Sunday’s quake was much stronger.

The China Earthquake Network Centre said tremors were felt in coastal areas including Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen urged people to be vigilant for further aftershocks in the coming hours.

“Water and electricity supplies in some areas are also affected by the earthquake,” she wrote on Facebook. “The related disaster relief work is in full swing.”

 

今天台東縣發生芮氏規模6.8地震,全台灣都受到影響。 雖然我在南投的行程當中,不過政府各單位都即時掌握情況,並且幕僚也隨時向我報告,剛剛,我也向媒體說明目前情形。 目前各地都陸續有災情回報,包括花蓮玉里有房屋倒塌,台鐵東里站月台雨棚掉落,撞擊420班次火車,部分橋梁斷裂等情況,也有部分區域的水電供應受到地震影響。而相關救災工作,都在全力進行當中。 中央災防中心已經一級開設,針對各地陸續傳來的災情,政府相關機關都正在掌握最新的狀況,並且做最即時的救援。 後續還有餘震的可能性,我要呼籲全台灣的民眾,保持警覺,也隨時注意政府機關所發布的正確訊息。 希望大家平安。

Posted by 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday, September 18, 2022

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.

The mountainous island sits on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through South-east Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Most of Taiwan’s population lives on the flat western coast and in the capital Taipei.

The scenic eastern coast is more remote and less populated but a major tourist draw. There are few international tourists in Taiwan these days because the island maintains mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for most arrivals.

Taiwan is regularly hit by quakes and most cause minimal damage but the island also has a long history of deadly tremors.

Hualien, a tourist hotspot, was struck by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in 2018 that killed 17 people and injured nearly 300.

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s history. REUTERS, AFP

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