At least 9 dead, nearly 1,000 injured in Taiwan earthquake

A collapsed building following a magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Photo by the Central News Agency/EPA-EFE

April 3 (UPI) -- At least nine people have died and nearly 1,000 were injured in the strongest earthquake to hit the island in 25 years, officials said Wednesday.

The Taiwan National Fire Agency said it has counted 934 injured in its latest count after the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that hit during the start of rush hour. The agency said 137 people remain trapped in various tunnels in Hualien County after 75 were rescued after the earthquake, which struck about 7 a.m. local time.

"All hospitals [in Taipei City] are operating normally except the Tri-State Service General Hospital Songshan Branch which has temporarily suspended service due to power outages, fallen ceilings and water leakages," a government statement said, according to CNN.

The statement said while all hospitals sustained some sort of structural damage, they have managed to stay open to help the many injured from the earthquake and aftershocks.

Taiwan seismology official Wu Chien-fu said in 1999 a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, killing about 2,400 people. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the Army is providing support to local communities.

TSMC, one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturing companies, said while some of its fabrication plants were evacuated, all of its operating systems were performing normally.

"All personnel are safe, and those evacuated are beginning to return to their workplaces," the company said, according to NBC News. "The company is currently confirming the details of the impact."

The earthquake collapsed scores of buildings in the southern city of Hualien as officials issued tsunami warnings for Taiwan, southern Japan and the Philippines. The massive earthquake was followed by a 6.5-magnitude aftershock.