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Rescuers search for 13 people following Taiwan’s biggest quake in 25 years

A closeup of a seismograph machine. The U.S. Geological Survey has reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 near San Jose, California. (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 10, 2024

This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.

Rescue teams in Taiwan continued to look for missing people following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit eastern Hualien county on Wednesday.

The quake killed 10 people, injured 1,123 and left 684 people stranded after boulders blocked roads, the Central Disaster Response Centre said Friday.

Around 200 people near the quake’s epicenter are staying in shelters, with the main road to Taipei still closed.

As of Friday afternoon 13 people were still missing.

Rescue workers are still trying to reach hundreds of people trapped in tunnels that run through Hualien county’s mountains.

The Taiwan government has set aside the equivalent of US$9.37 million to aid the recovery. The money will be used to provide subsidies for Hualien residents and cover quake-related expenses.

Business is getting back to normal with chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing restarting 70% of its production lines as of Thursday morning.

But Taiwan continues to be rocked by aftershocks, with 365 reported as of Thursday afternoon. Two aftershocks on Wednesday measured 6.5 and 6.2.

Japan’s foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa said Friday that Tokyo would provide Taiwan with US$1 million to support rescue work and recovery from the quake.

China offered its condolences for the quake and offered to provide assistance, although Taiwan turned it down.

Some Chinese netizens even suggested that the People’s Liberation Army should “land on the island to provide disaster relief.” The comments were subsequently deleted from the Weibo microblogging site.