‘Like a mountain collapsed’: Taiwan reels from biggest earthquake in 25 years

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Apr 03, 2024, 07:25 PM


Apr 03, 2024, 07:25 PM

TAIPEI – Liu watched intently as rescuers carefully picked their way through the remains of a warehouse that crumbled like a house of cards on April 3 during Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years, telling AFP it “was like a mountain collapsed”.

Propping ladders against the debris, the rescue workers managed to pluck 50 survivors from the destroyed building in Liu’s New Taipei City, just outside the capital.

The building was about 60 years old and had housed a printing press, said Liu, who lives next door.

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck at around 8am local time, reduced the building to jagged concrete blocks, steel bars, bricks and tangled wiring.

Residents of nearby buildings appeared to be unaffected, though they felt the intense shaking from the morning quake.

“Many of the decorations at home fell on the floor, but people were safe,” said Ms Chang, who lives near the printing press. “We were very lucky.”

The earthquake was felt across Taiwan, with more than 100 aftershocks unnerving the island of around 23 million.

Its epicentre was in eastern Hualien county, a mountainous region known for its picturesque trails and seascape views.

At least nine people died in the quake – all in Hualien – with three killed on a hiking trail and two crushed in their vehicles by boulders from landslides.

More than 800 were injured across Taiwan.

Images filmed by a train passenger and obtained by AFP’s verification team showed a landslide near one Hualien trail, sending up a cloud of white dust across its mountain ridges.

A driver shot a video of an...

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