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Taiwan Endures Severe Earthquake, Triggers Tsunami in Southern Japan

A powerful earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday, killing four people, according to Taiwan’s national fire agency. 

Three hikers died in rock slides near Taroko National Park, close to the quake’s epicenter in Hualien County, based on a report by a local news outlet.

The earthquake damaged a five-story building in Hualien, causing the first floor to collapse and the remaining structure to tilt dangerously. 

In Taipei’s capital city, tiles were dislodged from older buildings, and debris fell from construction sites at newer office complexes.

Credits: DepositPhotos

To ensure safety, schools evacuated their students to open sports fields. 

Protective gear such as helmets was provided to the students to guard against potential hazards during aftershocks. 

Textbooks were even used as shields for additional protection.

Transportation services across the island were disrupted as train and subway operations were suspended. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The above-ground train route recently built in Taipei experienced partial separation. 

The national legislature building, built before World War II, also suffered damage. 

The east coast of Taiwan faced significant traffic disruptions due to landslides and falling debris, resulting in damage to vehicles and infrastructure, although no injuries were immediately reported. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

Despite occurring during peak rush hour, the initial panic subsided swiftly, given the population’s familiarity with seismic activity, underscored by regular drills and public alerts.

While authorities anticipated a milder quake, the intensity of the tremor rattled residents, including those in Taipei, who described the experience as exceptionally frightening.

Hualien, previously struck by a deadly quake in 2018, now grapples with the aftermath of this latest seismic event. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

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Taiwan’s history with earthquakes includes the devastating 1999 quake, which claimed thousands of lives and caused extensive damage.

The earthquake’s impact extended beyond Taiwan’s borders, with Japan detecting a small tsunami wave and China experiencing tremors along its southeastern coast. 

However, no significant damage or casualties were reported in these neighboring regions. 

The Philippines released evacuation advisories on its northern shore, but luckily, there was no considerable tsunami activity hours after the earthquake.

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