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At Least 9 Dead, 821 Injured in Taiwan's 'Strongest Quake in 25 Years'

© PhotoEarthquake hits Taiwan
Earthquake hits Taiwan - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.04.2024
BEIJING (Sputnik) - At least nine people have died and 821 have been injured in an earthquake that erupted in Taiwan, Taiwanese broadcaster Sanlih reported on Wednesday, citing fire services.
Earlier in the day, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Taiwan has become the strongest to hit the island in 25 years, Wu Chien-fu, the director of the Central Weather Administration's Seismology Center, said.
He added that a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Taiwan has become the strongest to hit the island in 25 years.
"This earthquake became the strongest in 25 years after the shake of September 21 (1999). A 7.3-magnitude earthquake took place then," Wu was quoted by media.
The island usually experiences two to four quakes a year, usually of magnitude 6-7, but rarely higher, the official added.
As of 16:30 local time (8:30 GMT) the death toll stands at nine, another 821 are injured and at least 127 have been trapped, the broadcaster reported.
At least eight F-16 fighter jets stationed at the Taiwanese air forces' base in Hualien County were slightly damaged by the earthquake, the China Times newspaper reported later in the day, saying that the tremors had cracked base hangar walls causing them to collapse.
The main mechanisms of the fighters were not harmed by the quake, the newspaper reported, adding that the necessary repair work has been conducted and the combat readiness of the fighters has been fully restored.
About 1,000 people might be trapped in the mountains of Taiwan's Taroko National Park as the rescue team is attempting to get in touch climber groups, the island's Central News Agency reported on Wednesday.
At least 654 people were staying in the park overnight from Tuesday, while another 680 climbers registered to visit the national park on Wednesday, the news agency reported.
At least two German citizens have been trapped in Chongde Tunnel in the Taroko park, German newspaper Bild reported.
On Wednesday morning, a series of powerful earthquakes were recorded off Taiwan. A spokesperson for the Japan Meteorological Agency said the powerful earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7, followed by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake and a 6.3-magnitude earth tremor.
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