Taiwan quake: Several still remain trapped as injuries cross 1,000 mark

Over 600 people remain trapped due to roads being cut off in Taroko National Park

By
Reuters
A worker carries out operations as a firefighter sprays water near them at the site where a building collapsed, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan on April 4, 2024. — Reuters
A worker carries out operations as a firefighter sprays water near them at the site where a building collapsed, following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan on April 4, 2024. — Reuters
  • Over 600 people remain trapped due to roads being cut off in Taroko.
  • Residents left unnerved after more than 300 aftershocks reported.
  • Authorities rescue people trapped in buildings in Hualien city.

The number of people injured in the massive earthquake that hit eastern Taiwan on Wednesday has climbed past 1,000 as hundreds remain trapped in hotels in Taroko National Park — a popular tourist destination.

The development comes after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years, struck the Island nation resulting in nine fatalities as well as causing damage more than 100 buildings.

The quake was centred just off the east coast — in the sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien — at a depth of 15.5 kilometres (9.6 miles), according to Taiwan's Central Weather Administration.

Buildings also shook violently in the capital Taipei, but damage and disruption there was minimal.

The country also issued a tsunami warning but reported no damage from that, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii later said the risk of damaging tsunami waves had passed.

Taiwan's fire department said the number of injuries had reached 1,058, but most of almost 50 hotel workers on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park, had been located.

Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang wrote on his Facebook page that rescuers expected to be able to reach them on Thursday evening.

Work continues to open up the road into Taroko, which is known as the cross-island highway and traverses the gorge connecting Hualien with Taiwan's west coast.

A further 646 people are still trapped, mostly in hotels in the park due to the road being cut off, the fire department said.

The railway line to Hualien re-opened ahead of schedule on Thursday, although one rural station north of Hualien city remains closed due to damage, the railway administration said.

In Hualien city, where people who had been trapped in buildings have all been rescued, some people slept outdoors overnight as more than 300 aftershocks rocked the region, unnerving residents.