Taiwan earthquake causes widespread damage, death toll rises to 4. Helpline launched for Indians: Top Point

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Taiwan’s east coast on Wednesday, believed to be the most powerful earthquake to hit the island nation in the past 25 years. In the wake of the earthquake, the India-Taipei Association has set up an emergency helpline number to provide assistance, clarification or guidance to all Indian nationals living in Taiwan. So far four people have died and more than 50 have been injured due to the earthquake.

Here are the top points-

  • While Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency said the quake registered a magnitude of 7.2, the US Geological Survey said it measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. Citing the Japan Meteorological Agency, Reuters later upgraded the magnitude of Taiwan’s quake to 7.7 from 7.5.
  • Nearly four people died and more than 50 were injured in Taiwan after the earthquake, AFP reports.
  • The earthquake struck the island nation around 9:00 a.m. Japanese local time on March 3.
  • Following the devastating earthquake, India Taipei Association set up an emergency helpline number to provide assistance, clarification or guidance to all Indian citizens living in Taiwan: Mobile: 0905247906 Email: ad.ita@mea.gov.in
  • Taiwan weather officials called it the largest seismic event since 1999. According to media reports, more than 2000 people were killed in the 921 earthquake.
  • The epicenter of the earthquake was located off the coast of the eastern county of Hualien, in waters off the east coast of the island of Taiwan.
  • Two buildings collapsed near the epicenter, AFP reported, citing information from the Hualien fire department.
  • According to reports, a tsunami warning was issued for the southern Japanese islands due to the earthquake. Waves up to three meters or 9.8 feet high were expected on Miyakojima Island.
  • Tsunami warnings were also issued for Miyakojima and Okinawa and relevant authorities urged people around the affected areas to immediately evacuate and move to higher ground, The Japan Times reported.
  • Taiwan also issued a similar tsunami warning, with television stations showing footage of buildings shaking off their foundations in the eastern city of Hualien, the Associated Press reported, adding that tremors were also felt in the capital, Taipei.
  • According to Reuters, the earthquake was felt as far as Shanghai. People also felt the quake in Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen and Ningde in China’s Fujian province, according to Chinese state media.
  • The Philippines Seismology Agency also issued warnings to residents of coastal areas in several provinces, urging them to move to higher ground. However, hours later, the warning was cancelled, Reuters reported.
  • Scary scenes emerged from Taiwan after the earthquake, showing collapsed buildings, shaking highways and swaying skyscrapers. Taiwanese television stations also showed footage of buildings’ foundations shaking in Hualien.
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami warning following the earthquake was “largely passed”. However, Okinawa’s main airport suspended flights following the tsunami warning, AFP reported.

Also read: 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan, 1 dead, more than 50 injured. Japan issues tsunami warning