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Taiwan swings into rescue operations after 7.4 earthquake, toll rises to 4

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Taipei | April 3, 2024 11:58:18 AM IST
After a powerful 7.4 earthquake rocked Huwalien City on Wednesday, claiming four lives, leaving at least 57 injured and rattling scores of buildings, the local authorities swung into rescue operations in the affected areas, Focus Taiwan reported.

In Zhonghe district of New Taipei City, the city's fire department rescued four people from a warehouse that collapsed after the earthquake.

The city's fire department said it was informed of the collapse of the warehouse on Liancheng Road at 8.08 am (local time) and rescued four people. The last person was freed at around 11 am (local time) after being trapped for hours, Focus Taiwan reported.

Another building on Antai Road in New Taipei's Xindian saw its foundation sink due to the earthquake. The fire department said a total of 12 people were rescued and none of them was injured.

The Taoyuan International Airport Corporation said it suspended its in-town check-in service at the Taoyuan Airport MRT A1 Taipei Main Station and A3 New Taipei Industrial Park stations, as MRT service remained 'spotty', with trains running at slower than normal speeds, according to Focus Taiwan.

Additionally, two buildings in downtown Hualien City partially collapsed, including one in which the residents remain trapped.

Rescue operations are ongoing after local firefighters and police rushed to the scene at the intersection of Zhongshan and Chongqing roads.

Aftershocks continued during the rescue process, causing nearby residents to flee their homes and stay outside.

Meanwhile, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines cancelled their tsunami warnings issued in light of the earthquake, while the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the threat to the United States has "largely passed," CNN reported.

Tsunami waves were observed on the coasts of Taiwan and far southwestern Japanese islands after the 7.4 temblor hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning.

CNN reported that there were no immediate reports of any major damage caused by these waves.

The epicentre of the temblor was located in the Pacific Ocean, 25 km south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, according to the administration's Seismology Center, Central News Agency reported.

An intensity level of 5+ was reported in Yilan County in the northeast and in Miaoli County in the north, while 5- was reported in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City and Hsinchu County in the north, Taichung City, Changhua County and Nantou County in central Taiwan, the Central Weather Agency informed.

The alert was sounded after the earthquake hit the country shortly before 9 am (local time). The Japan Meteorological Agency identified the earthquake's epicentre near Taiwan, according to NHK.

Anticipated tsunami arrival times were projected for 9.30 am (local time) in the Miyakojima-Yaeyama region and 10 am in the Okinawa main island region.

In response, the Japan Meteorological Agency sounded the alarm for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, cautioning residents about imminent waves as high as 3 meters, NHK reported. (ANI)

 
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