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Taiwan: Rescue operations continue after major earthquake

World Thursday 04/April/2024 15:46 PM
By: DW
Taiwan: Rescue operations continue after major earthquake

Taipei: Rescue workers on Thursday were searching for people in Taiwan after the strongest earthquake in a quarter century shook the island on Wednesday.

The Taiwan Fire Agency said in its latest update on Thursday that 52 people remained missing and 93 remained trapped.

A series of strong tremors and about 300 aftershocks also followed the quake throughout the day.

The 7.4-magnitude quake struck the island's east coast on Wednesday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 1,000.

The extent of damage at the quake's epicentre in the mountainous Hualien County was still being assessed.

In Hualien City, workers used an excavator to stabilise the base of the damaged 10-storey Uranus building with construction materials. Some 48 residential buildings were damaged by the quake, authorities said.

All those trapped in buildings have been rescued, but many residents unnerved by the aftershocks spent the night outdoors. Many slept in tents on sports grounds that were being used for temporary shelter.

Engineers were also at work to make sure that unstable buildings would not pose a risk.

The National Fire Agency said some 40 people were still stranded inside a hotel at the Taroko National Park. It said employees and guests at the hotel were safe.

Most of the people were killed by falling rocks on Wednesday, and four of the fatalities were inside the national park, according to the state Central News Agency.

Authorities also raced to rescue people trapped in quarries and highway tunnels. Authorities said some 60 workers, who were unable to leave a quarry due to blocked roads, were freed on Thursday.

Central News Agency said all of the workers got off the mountain safely around noon, and six workers from another quarry were airlifted out.