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Taiwan earthquake with 7.4 magnitude is strongest in 25 years

Taiwan earthquake with 7.4 magnitude is strongest in 25 years
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9:09 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024
2:04 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024

Search and rescue efforts continue after 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan. Here’s the latest

From CNN staff

Rescue workers stand near the site of a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3.
Rescue workers stand near the site of a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3. Johnson Lai/AP

Rescuers are working to free dozens trapped after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Taiwan — causing landslides and collapsed structures.

At least nine people have died, more than 900 others are injured and over 100 buildings have been damaged.

The quake is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years.

Here’s what else we know:

  • The quake: The earthquake hit at 7:58 a.m. local time, 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of the city of Hualien at a depth of 34.8 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
  • Aftershocks: The quake was followed by 29 aftershocks greater than a magnitude of 4.0 near the epicenter of the earthquake in east Taiwan so far, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Tremors have been felt across the island, including in Taipei. Tremors as high as magnitude 7 are expected in the following days.
  • Hualien County: The region where the quake struck, Hualien County, has a population of about 300,000, around 100,000 of whom live in the main city of Hualien. But many in the region live in remote coastal or mountain communities that can be hard to reach, so it might take time to understand the extent of Wednesday’s quake.
  • Trapped miners: Taiwan’s national fire agency said that 71 people are trapped in two mines in Hualien.
  • Power cuts: More than 91,000 households were without electricity, according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Command Center.
  • Medical facilities: Hospitals across Taiwan’s capital, Taipei City, are operating normally despite being damaged by Wednesday’s earthquake, according to the Municipal Government.
  • US monitoring: The Biden administration is monitoring the earthquake in Taiwan overnight and is prepared to offer assistance, a National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday. 
2:06 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024

71 miners trapped in 2 mines in Taiwan after earthquake, national fire agency says

From CNN’s Shawn Deng

Taiwan’s national fire agency said that 71 people are trapped in two mines in Hualien after a powerful earthquake struck the island. 

In the Heping mine, there are 64 people trapped, and seven more are trapped in the Zhonghe mine, the fire agency said in a news conference on Wednesday. 

1:08 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024

Video shows man swimming in a rooftop pool when massive earthquake hit 

From CNN staff

When a magnitude of 7.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan on Wednesday, it struck during the morning commute.

Video shows highway roads shaking and even a man being heavily swayed and rocked on a rooftop pool.

Watch the moment here:

12:52 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024

Taiwanese semiconductor facilities will resume production overnight following earthquake

From CNN’s Shawn Deng

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the chipmaking giant, said on Wednesday that its facilities which were impacted by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake are expected to resume production overnight. 

TSMC reported that their overall tool recovery is at more than 70% within 10 hours of the earthquake striking the island. Safety systems are also operating normally, TSMC added.

The company noted that a small number of tools were damaged but that there was no damage to its extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) tools. Work at construction sites will resume after further inspections are complete, TSMC said.

Earlier, a TSMC spokesperson told CNN they had evacuated some manufacturing plants. All personnel are now safe, TSMC said in an update.

11:02 a.m. ET, April 3, 2024

Biden administration monitoring Taiwan earthquake, White House says

From CNN’s Sam Fossum

The Biden administration is monitoring the earthquake in Taiwan overnight and is prepared to offer assistance, a National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday. 

“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,” a statement from National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

10:40 a.m. ET, April 3, 2024

7 major earthquakes have hit Taiwan over the last 50 years

From CNN staff

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that killed at least nine people and injured hundreds Wednesday, is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years.

Over the last 50 years, the island has experienced a total of seven major earthquakes, the last being a 7.1 magnitude quake in 2006 in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.

The island sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes it prone to earthquakes.

See a full list of the earthquakes that have hit Taiwan:

10:07 a.m. ET, April 3, 2024

29 aftershocks above 4.0 magnitude have occurred near epicenter since earthquake, US Geological Survey says

From CNN’s Sara Tonks 

There have been 29 aftershocks greater than a magnitude of 4.0 near the epicenter of the earthquake in east Taiwan so far, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Of these aftershocks:

  • One was above 6.0
  • 13 have been at or above 5.0
  • 14 have been above 4.0.

Forecast during recovery efforts: Tonight’s forecast in Hualien City, near the epicenter, calls for increasing cloud coverage. Thursday is looking at mostly cloudy skies with afternoon showers and rain Thursday night and Friday during the day.

Rainfall totals should be relatively light for Taiwan, with models calling for under 25 mm (less than 1 inch) by Friday evening local time.

8:45 a.m. ET, April 3, 2024

Watch landslide engulf road after 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

A dashcam camera has caught the moment a large landslide came down a mountain in Taiwan, triggered by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning.

The quake is the strongest to have rattled the island in 25 years, killing at least nine people and leaving more than 150 trapped.

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