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Taiwan earthquake: 9 dead, 1,038 injured, rescue underway

Taiwan earthquake: 9 dead, 1,038 injured, rescue underway
Taipei [Taiwan], April 4 (ANI): The search for the missing continues following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake centered in Hualien that struck Taiwan on Wednesday morning, Central News Agency Focus Taiwan reported.

As per Central Emergency Operation Center, as of 7 am Thursday, the number of deaths has reached nine, with 1,038 injured, 96 trapped, and 52 missing, reported CNA.

Relief efforts are concentrated on Hualien, along the rugged and scenic east coast, where numerous buildings were left precarious with collapsed lower floors. Bridges and tunnels were destroyed, while roads suffered damage from rocks and landslides.

Workers start demolishing buildings and rescuing individuals trapped inside, visuals coming from Taiwan.

The casualties, all reported in Hualien, encompass four victims in Taroko Gorge, two near the Dachingshui and Huide tunnels, one in a residential building in Hualien City, and one in the Hejen mining area, with most resulting from rockfalls, as per CNA

Emergency crews are rushing to free people trapped by the earthquake and ensuing landslides.

Among those trapped are three people in a mine in Hualien's Heren Mining Area, 64 people in Heping Mine, five employees of Silks Place Hotel, and 24 tourists in Taroko Gorge's Tunnel of Nine Turns.

Taipower has reported that power has been returned to 70 per cent of all households and businesses that experienced power outages. Taiwan Water also said that water supply is normal in all districts and has dispatched personnel to conduct pipeline inspections and inspections at 13 reservoirs, per CNA.

According to CNA, Taiwan's Nuclear Safety Commission said all nuclear power plants are operating normally and will pay attention to subsequent aftershocks. It will also continue to carry out inspections and monitoring of plants.

Taoyuan International Airport Corporation said it has set up a response center and that operations are normal. However, parts of ceilings, walls, and sprinkler heads fell in the terminal, and two outbound and one Vietnamese passenger were slightly injured.

On Wednesday, out of 143, seven people were trapped in the Renhe mining area, 47 hotel employees and 24 tourists at Jiuqudong, 64 individuals in the Heping mining area, and one on the Jhu-ilu Trekking and Hiking trail, as per the National Fire Agency

Chen Cheng-chi, Deputy Commander of the Central Emergency Operation Centre (CEOC) and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs highlighted that current rescue efforts are primarily concentrated on Provincial Highway No-8. He emphasised the importance of rescue personnel prioritising their safety, particularly during nighttime operations.

Regarding water and electricity supply, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported that 371,869 households experienced power outages nationwide, with 1,073 households still without power late Wednesday. Among them, 660 are expected to have power restored later in the evening.

Additionally, 125,675 households initially suffered water stoppages across Taiwan, with 14,718 households still facing water shortages, including 14,500 in Hualien. Restoration efforts are expected to be completed by midnight Thursday, with water trucks dispatched to affected areas in the interim.

Furthermore, the ministry noted that 20 of the 80 damaged cell phone base stations had been repaired by late Wednesday. The National Communications Commission aims to gradually restore the remaining stations by Friday. (ANI)

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