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Taiwan earthquake details: Aftermath of strongest quake in 25 years

Taiwan earthquake details: Aftermath of strongest quake in 25 years Photo: Most powerful earthquake in the last 25 years hit Taiwan (Getty Images)

Taiwan was shaken by the most powerful earthquake in a quarter of a century, causing extensive destruction. The tremors were felt throughout the island, with hundreds of people affected by the natural disaster, resulting in casualties and widespread damage.

RBC-Ukraine reports what is known about the aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Taiwan.

Sources: US Geological Survey, Central Weather Administration Seismological Center in Taipei, Taiwan's National Fire Agency (NFA), CNN, BBC, and AP.

Strongest earthquake in Taiwan in 25 years

According to the US Geological Survey, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan at 7:58 am local time (7.7 magnitude as evaluated in Japan) 18 kilometers south of Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 kilometers. A series of strong aftershocks followed the earthquake.

Although the earthquake was shallow, it was felt across Taiwan, as well as in some parts of mainland China and Japan. Chinese state media reported seismic activity in Fujian Province in the southeast of the country.

Taiwan earthquake details: Aftermath of strongest quake in 25 years

Photo: During the earthquake, tremors occurred throughout Taiwan (Getty Images)

"The earthquake started near land, at a shallow depth. It was felt across Taiwan and neighboring islands and is the strongest in 25 years (since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake in September 1999, which claimed about 2,400 lives)," said Wu Chien-fu, director of the Central Weather Administration Seismological Center in Taipei.

Epicenter of the earthquake

CNN reports the earthquake's epicenter was near Hualien City, located in a county with a similar name on Taiwan's eastern coast. It is the largest county in the state by area but has one of the lowest populations as it has mountainous terrain. The county's population is approximately 300,000, with about 100,000 in the city center - Hualien City.

Taiwan earthquake details: Aftermath of strongest quake in 25 years

Photo: Dozens of buildings were destroyed, more than a hundred were damaged (Getty Images)

Most of the population resides in the Huadong Valley, stretching north to south, and sandwiched between the Central and Hai'an Mountain Ranges. Thanks to its rural nature, Hualien attracts many visitors with its natural environment, including Taroko Gorge, Qingshui Cliff, and Qixingtan Beach.

Hualien is Taiwan's most famous and popular tourist destination. It was named the Second Most Welcoming City in the World by in 2023, being the only Asian city on the list. It is home to Taroko National Park, attracting numerous visitors every year.

Extent of the damage

According to Taiwan's National Fire Agency (NFA), powerful underground tremors that shook the island damaged 125 buildings. Authorities estimate that at least 26 buildings collapsed, more than half of which were in Hualien. In this county, a five-story building suffered significant damage. Photos of this building shocked the online community today. The first floor collapsed, while the rest tilted at a 45-degree angle.

The county also suffered from landslides and rockfalls, leading to the closure of the main coastal highway, where several tunnels were damaged.

Train and metro services in Taipei were also suspended on the island, where a newly built surface line partially separated. Movement along the eastern coast almost halted due to landslides and debris falling in tunnels and highways in mountainous areas, causing damage to vehicles.

Besides, a mountain near Taiwan's eastern coast partially collapsed into the sea after the tremors.

Taiwan earthquake details: Aftermath of strongest quake in 25 years(

Disruptions in electricity and internet services were also recorded across the island. According to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center, over 91,000 households were left without power.

Furthermore, the major Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC reported evacuating employees from several of its factories in Hsinchu and the southern part of the island. According to the company, their security systems are operating normally. TSMC produces chips for companies like Apple and Nvidia.

Victims and affected

Initially, it was reported that about 60 people were injured, but updated data later appeared. Taiwan's National Fire Agency informed that at least 9 people died, 821 were injured, and 127 remain trapped under rubble.

According to AP and CNN, among the victims are tourists. Three travelers died during collapses in Taroko National Park, located near the earthquake's epicenter. Two Canadians were also trapped there.

Two German citizens got stuck in a tunnel on the Suhua Highway on the island's eastern coast, reports NFA. The highway suffered serious damage during the earthquake and was closed.

Tsunami threat

The earthquake triggered tsunami warnings in Taiwan. Japanese meteorological agency reported that several small tsunami waves reached some areas in Okinawa Prefecture, while the Philippine seismic agency issued warnings for residents of coastal areas, urging them to evacuate to higher ground. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii stated that the risk of destructive waves had passed.

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

World's reaction

European Union

European Council President Charles Michel has already responded to the tragedy.

"My heartfelt support goes out to all those affected by the earthquake in Taiwan. And my condolences to the families of the victims. The EU stands ready to provide any assistance needed," Michel said.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says that his country is ready to support its "important friend" Taiwan.

"We sincerely appreciate the truly heartwarming support Japan received from the people of Taiwan, an important friend, after both the Great East Japan Earthquake and, recently, the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. As Taiwan, our neighbor across the sea, faces difficulties, Japan stands ready to provide necessary support," he wrote on X.


The Chinese Earthquake Center reported that tremors were felt along China's eastern coast, in cities like Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Shanghai, as well as in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Jiangxi.

A spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office expressed "sincere condolences" from Beijing to "Taiwan compatriots" and offered to provide assistance to those affected by the disaster.