Taiwan Rocked by Strongest Earthquake in 25 Years


During Wednesday’s morning rush hour, Taiwan was struck by its most powerful earthquake in a quarter century, resulting in four fatalities and widespread destruction. In Hualien, a five-story building suffered severe damage, with its first floor collapsing and the remainder tilting at a 45-degree angle. In Taipei, older buildings shed tiles, while newer office complexes saw debris falling from construction sites.

In response to the quake, schools evacuated students to sports fields, providing them with yellow safety helmets and using textbooks as shields against potential falling objects amid ongoing aftershocks. Traffic along the east coast ground to a halt due to landslides and debris obstructing tunnels and highways in the mountainous terrain. While vehicles sustained damage, injuries remained unclear.

Despite the quake’s occurrence during peak morning hours just before 8 am, initial panic subsided swiftly on the island, accustomed to frequent tremors and equipped with preparedness drills at schools and dissemination of alerts through public media and mobile devices.