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Nine killed, hundreds injured in Taiwan earthquake, strongest in 25 years

The epicenter of the quake was near the eastern city of Hualien.

Published: April 2, 2024 10:02pm

Updated: April 3, 2024 8:19am

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan early Wednesday killed nine and injured hundreds, according to officials. 

The quake struck during a morning rush hour and was centered off the coast of rural, mountainous Hualien County, about 93 miles from the capital of Taipei, according to the Associated Press. 

Three among those reportedly killed were hikers in Taroko National Park, which is in Hualien. The number of injured is now reported at 934, according to Taiwan’s national fire agency. 

The number of dead and injured is expected to increase as search-and-rescue teams continue to look for quake victims. Over a hundred people are reportedly trapped in a mining area.

"The earthquake is close to land and it's shallow. It's felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands... It's the strongest in 25 years," said Taipei Seismology Center Director Wu Chien Fu.

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit the island in 1999, resulting in 2,400 dead.

Quakes happen frequently in Taiwan, and its residents is among the best prepared for them. 

By noon, local time, the metro station in the busy northern Taipei suburb of Beitou was again buzzing with people commuting to jobs and people arriving to visit the hot springs or travel the mountain paths at the base of an extinct volcano, the wire service also reports. 

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