Taiwan Struck by Strongest Earthquake in 25 Years

Taiwan faced its strongest earthquake in a quarter century Wednesday morning, damaging buildings resulting in the deaths of four people as of this writing.

At least four people died in the Hualien County and at least 57 others were injured from the earthquake, Taiwan’s national fire agency said. As reported by the local United Daily News, three hikers died due to rockslides in Taroko National Park near the offshore epicenter.

One five-story building was heavily damaged and collapsed its first floor, leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle, CBN News reports. Buildings were also damaged from the quake in Taiwan’s capital while schools were evacuated.

“Earthquakes are a common occurrence, and I’ve grown accustomed to them. But today was the first time I was scared to tears by an earthquake,” Hsien-hsuen Keng, who lives in Taipei, said. ”I was awakened by the earthquake. I had never felt such intense shaking before.”

She noted her fifth-floor was rocked so hard that “apart from earthquake drills in elementary school, this was the first time I had experienced such a situation.”

Taiwan, which has a population of approximately 23 people, suspended its train service while a newly constructed above-ground line partially separated in Taipei.

According to Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency, the earthquake came in as a magnitude 7.2 while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.4. It struck roughly about 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) south-southwest of Hualien and had a depth of about 35 kilometers (21 miles). There were also aftershocks, with USGS noting one 6.5 magnitude subsequent quake that was 11.8 kilometers (7 miles) deep. 

The last time Hualien was struck by a quake was in 2018, in which a historic hotel and other buildings collapsed. On Sept. 21 1999, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, killing at least 2,400 people and injuring 100,000 and destroying thousands of buildings.

Image credit: ©Getty Images/Steve Collender

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

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