7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Leaves 131 People Trapped In Taiwan

Strong earthquake off Taiwan

A natural tragedy engulfed the people of Taiwan on Wednesday morning as a 7.4 magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings and lives.

One hundred thirty-one people are currently trapped, while at least nine people are dead, and over 900 were injured following the disaster, which is being reported as the biggest earthquake ever to hit the country in 25 years. 

7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Taiwan's East Coast

Earthquake hit Taiwan

The unfortunate incident struck the east coast of Taiwan in Hualien County on Wednesday at around 7:58 a.m. local time. As stated, the 7.4 magnitude earthquake is the strongest to hit Taiwan in over two decades.

The island is prone to earthquakes as it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and over the last 50 years, Taiwan has been hit by seven significant earthquakes with a magnitude of 7 or above. The previous incident was 2006's 7.1 magnitude quake in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.

The island's epicenter, Hualien County, is home to around 300,000 of the 23 million people who live in Taiwan. According to Taiwan's National Fire Agency (NFA), per CNN, the number of injuries from the earthquake has risen to 934.

It is unclear the severity of the injuries; however, the death toll remains at nine people. Meanwhile, rescue operations are underway as 131 people are trapped following the quake.

Rescuers Are Working To Free Trapped Civilians

Taiwan quake

Reports note that at least 50 of the 131 people trapped are employees of the Silks Place Taroko Hotel. The group had been traveling to the national park Taroko Gorge in four minibusses at the time of the earthquake.

They were regarded as trapped after authorities could not reach them by phone. The 131 list also includes around 60 people in the Jinwen Tunnel in northern Hualien County and 15 more in the Dachingshui Tunnel.

Fortunately, the two German citizens trapped in a tunnel in Hualien County have been rescued. As for structural damages, more than 100 buildings, including residential homes and skyscrapers, have been toppled or destroyed following the earthquake.

Half of the damaged buildings are located in Hualien County, with some structures left leaning to one side. Additionally, the earthquake caused over 91,000 households to lose electricity.

The Earthquake Was Followed By Powerful Aftershocks

Taiwan quake

Following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake, Hualien County was rocked by 29 aftershocks greater than a magnitude of 4.0. The tremors could reportedly be felt across the island, including in Taipei.

These aftershocks included one above 6.0, 13 at or above 5.0, and 14 above 4.0. Tremors as high as magnitude 7.0 are expected in the following days. However, there are no longer threats of a Tsunami.

Tsunami warnings were initially issued across Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines after the 7.4-magnitude earthquake, causing airport flight suspensions. However, the warnings have since been lifted.

Hospitals In Taipei City Are Still Functioning Despite The Earthquake

Taiwan quake

Hospitals across Taiwan's capital, Taipei City, are reportedly operating normally despite the earthquake. At least seven of these facilities received structural damages, including "fallen tiles, partially fallen ceilings, cracks in the wall, and electricity outage."

However, these issues didn't stop the hospitals from continuing their operations. The government addressed the situation in a statement, noting that only one hospital was offline after the tragic earthquake.

"All hospitals are operating normally except the Tri-Service General Hospital Songshan Branch, which has temporarily suspended service due to power outages, fallen ceilings, and water leakages," the statement claimed.

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake Struck Disneyland During Operating Hours

Man Dies After Jumping From Parking Structure At Disneyland

Last December, a 3.5 magnitude earthquake hit California's Disneyland while guests were enjoying the famous theme park. The incident occurred around 8:00 p.m. PT, with a smaller aftershock around 8:30 p.m. PT.

As a result, all rides at Disneyland Park were closed, except for Jungle Cruise and the Mad Tea Party. The earthquake wasn't big enough to cause structural damage; however, visitors were inconvenienced as the closed-off rides had to be inspected.

Social media users reacted to the quake with hilarious memes and comments, with one X user lamenting: "Nothing like an #earthquake just as you're about to get on Big Thunder Mountain…"

Another penned: "Earthquake at Disneyland, and they shut the rides down. My old a-- was tired anyway." A third aired their disappointment with the tweet: "I hate that an earthquake Disneyland and I couldn't even feel it. Instead, I just have to deal with everything being closed."