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77 people trapped, 700 injured across Taiwan after powerful earthquake

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Taipei | April 3, 2024 1:58:33 PM IST
At least 77 people are trapped across Taiwan after a powerful earthquake struck the island's eastern coast, CNN reported citing the National Fire Agency (NFA).

Authorities did not elaborate on the condition of those trapped but said that rescue operations were underway.

The 7.4 magnitude quake has killed four people and injured more than 700 others, according to NFA. Of those injured, 132 are in Hualien County, near the epicentre of the quake, the agency added.

Taiwan was struck by its strongest earthquake in 25 years on Wednesday when a 7.4 magnitude tremor struck the island's eastern coast, collapsing buildings, killing at least four people and triggering tsunami warnings across the region that were later lifted, CNN reported.

The tsunami warnings also prompted airlines and airports to suspend flights, which were later resumed.

CNN reported that the powerful tremors that rocked Taiwan morning have damaged 125 buildings across the island, according to the National Fire Agency (NFA).

About half of the damaged buildings are in Hualien County, near the epicenter of the earthquake, according to local officials.

Four buildings in the county had partially collapsed, Hualien County Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei said at a news conference Wednesday.

Residents from three of the buildings have been safely evacuated, while search and rescue operations continue at the nine-storey Uranus Building, which is leaning to the right after the ground floor collapsed, Hsu said, CNN reported.

Twenty-two people have been rescued from the Uranus Building, with efforts still underway to contact one remaining resident, according to the National Fire Agency.

Meanwhile, the Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong has offered condolences to the people killed in Taiwan and asked the Australian authorities to follow the advice of the local authorities.

"Australia's thoughts are with those killed and injured following the earthquake near Taiwan. DFAT officials in Taipei and Tokyo are working with authorities but at this stage aren't aware of any Australians affected," she posted on X.

"Please follow the advice of local authorities. Australians in need of emergency consular assistance should contact the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (overseas) & 1300 555 135 (in Australia)," she added.

The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Ministry appreciated the wishes by the countries across world and said that support strengthens their resolve.

Taking to X, the ministry said, "We appreciate the worldwide good wishes & prayers issued in the wake of the 7.2 earthquake & ongoing aftershocks. Support from allies & friends in moments of adversity touches our hearts & strengthens our resolve--#Taiwan stands strong as an #IslandOfResilience."(ANI)

 
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