Dozens Missing, Hundreds Trapped After Taiwan Quake

But death toll is far lower than in 1999 quake
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2024 6:01 AM CDT
Dozens Missing, Hundreds Trapped After Taiwan Quake
Debris surrounds a tilted building a day after a powerful earthquake struck in Hualien City, eastern Taiwan, Thursday, April 4, 2024.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Dozens of people are missing and hundreds are trapped or stranded in the aftermath of Taiwan's most powerful earthquake since 1999. Most of the stranded people are employees and guests at the remote Silks Place Taroko hotel, the BBC reports. Authorities are working to repair roads to the area. Dozens of hotel workers and tourists were stranded in a highway tunnel, CNN reports.

  • The official death toll stands at nine, far fewer than the 2,400 killed in the 1999 quake, which led to changes in building codes. Wednesday's magnitude-7.4 quake injured more than 1,000 people. The Taipei Times reports that the victims include at least three hikers who were hit by falling rocks in a national park. Firefighters said a woman who tried to rescue her pet cat from a collapsed building in the eastern city of Haulien died after she became trapped during an aftershock.

  • Miners have been rescued by helicopter from remote quarries and authorities are in contact with people trapped in highway tunnels, AFP reports. Authorities shared dramatic footage of workers being rescued from a steep cliff. In Haulien, the hardest-hit city, dozens of damaged buildings, some of them tilting alarmingly, are being propped up. Authorities say some of the buildings will have to be demolished.
  • After the 1999 quake, thousands of older public buildings were reviewed and strengthened, the National Post reports. "Taiwan's earthquake preparedness is among the most advanced in the world," says Stephen Gao, a seismologist at Missouri University of Science and Technology. "The island has implemented strict building codes, a world-class seismological network, and widespread public education campaigns on earthquake safety."
  • Hualien resident Hong Changyi told CNN that his liquor store was destroyed in the quake. "My mind has gone blank, seeing that all of my life's work has vanished," he said. He added: "The shops that have been operating for over a decade are gone in one morning, it's painful to see. But people are safe, so that's fortunate."

    "The shops th

(More Taiwan earthquake stories.)

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