Japan, the Philippines, and Others Respond After Tsunami Warnings Caused by Taiwan Earthquake Spread

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, killing at least nine and at least initially sending populations in neighboring Pacific countries scrambling for higher ground.

Among the dead, according to The Associated Press, were three hikers who were killed by a rockslide at Taiwan’s Taroko National Park, in the northeast part of the island country. The driver of a van in the park was also killed when a boulder crushed the vehicle.

Tsunami warnings were issued from Japan to the Philippines and elsewhere in the region when the tremor hit just before 8 a.m. local time (8 p.m. Tuesday, EDT), the AP reported.


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Those warnings were later lifted.

Taiwan’s capital Taipei was struck particularly hard, the AP reported.

The quake was initially estimated by some to have been as powerful as a 7.7 on the Richter scale but according to the United States Geological Survey, the main quake was scored as a 7.4.

Powerful aftershocks were felt in the hours immediately after the main tremor and could continue for days to come.

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The BBC aired footage of a high-rise building in the city leaning and partially collapsed.

The network noted Wednesday’s shaking was so powerful it cut off access to roads and triggered landslides that blocked or destroyed bridges.

Images of other damage spread across social media:


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Fortunately, much of Taipei’s infrastructure was said to have been intact but damage across the rest of the country was still being assessed.

Speaking to The New York Times, a South African citizen identified as Derik du Plessi, who lives in Taipei, said many in the area are afraid to go indoors.

“Right now people seem to have calmed down but a lot of people are sitting on the road,” the man told the paper. “They don’t want to go into the buildings because there are still a lot of tremors.”

The death toll is expected to rise while estimates of those who were injured have varied.

According to the AP, more than 900 people were believed to have been injured in the earthquake.

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