Strongest earthquake in Taiwan in 25 years… Temporary suspension of TSMC factory operation – Dong-A Ilbo VRESP

Magnitude 7.2… At least 9 people killed in building collapse

Taiwan hit by strong earthquake… 8-story building in downtown Hualien at risk of collapse Due to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that occurred in the Hualien area in northeastern Taiwan on the 3rd, the 8-story Tianwangxing building in downtown Hualien tilted so severely that it almost touched the ground. This earthquake is the strongest in 25 years since the one that struck Nantou County in central Taiwan in September 1999, killing more than 2,400 people. Photo source: Social media ‘X’ (old Twitter)

On the 3rd, a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 occurred about 25 km southeast of Hualien, northeastern Taiwan. It is the strongest earthquake in 25 years since the 921 earthquake, which occurred on September 21, 1999 in central Nantou County, killing more than 2,400 people.

According to the Taiwan Meteorological Administration, the strong earthquake that occurred in the Hualien area at 7:58 a.m. (local time) was so strong that tremors were felt not only throughout Taiwan, including the capital Taipei, nearby New Taipei, and central Taoyuan, but also across the sea in Fujian Province, southwestern China. It worked. Afterwards, landslides and building collapses continued, leaving at least 9 people dead and 946 injured in Taiwan as of 8:30 PM (Korean time).

Immediately after the earthquake, buildings shook violently for about a minute, and some collapsed or lost their balance and tilted severely. At least 50 residents are trapped in the collapsed building, so casualties may increase further. Immediately after the earthquake, Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, temporarily suspended some production lines at its factory in the Junan region, 130 km away from the epicenter, and urgently evacuated its employees.

Tsunami warnings were also issued at one time in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture and the Philippines, which are adjacent to Taiwan. It has been 13 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 that a tsunami warning was issued in Okinawa. Okinawa is on alert because it is a key security hub for the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region and is home to several U.S. military bases in Japan. However, there was no major damage and the warning was lifted this afternoon.

This earthquake is not expected to have a significant impact on Korea due to the distance from the epicenter or the direction of energy propagation. However, experts emphasized that, as earthquakes continue to occur in places such as Taiwan and Japan, “It is necessary to remember that the Korean Peninsula is not an ‘earthquake safe zone’ either.”

With the power of 32 atomic bombs… Hualien building collapse – landslide shakes entire Taiwan

(Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years)
150 aftershocks, 950 casualties… Citizens scream on their way to work “It’s like a disaster movie”
Taipei 5.0 vibration 150km away… Tsunami warning for U.S. military bases in Okinawa

“The train was shaking violently, and outside the window the mountain was collapsing, kicking up a cloud of dust.”

Road crashing… Emergency evacuation The road leading to the Jinwen Tunnel in Hualien, northeastern Taiwan, where a magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred on the 3rd, completely collapsed due to a landslide caused by the earthquake. Authorities said at least 60 people were trapped in the tunnel in the aftermath. Two German nationals were also trapped in a nearby tunnel, showing that the aftereffects of the earthquake were significant (pictured above). After the earthquake, employees of Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, are rushing out of the factory in the Hsinchu Science Complex near the capital Taipei. Hualien = Xinhua Newsis Photo source: Social media ‘X’ (old Twitter)

This is the dire situation at the time of the earthquake, as told to local media Lianhebo by Hong Mo, a Taipei citizen who took a train from Taiwan’s capital Taipei to Hualien in the northeast on the morning of the 3rd. He said it was like a scene from a ‘disaster movie’ and “I was really scared when the tsunami warning went off.”

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred 25km southeast of Hualien County at 7:58 a.m. (local time) on this day and struck the entire Taiwan. A magnitude 5 tremor was also felt in Taipei, about 150km away from the epicenter. On the way to work in the Taipei subway, passengers collapsed and screamed in various places due to severe vibrations. The magnitude of the earthquake was so strong that the United States Geological Survey (USCG) raised the magnitude to 7.4, and Japan raised it to 7.7. This is equivalent to detonating 32 atomic bombs at once.

Hualien, a northeastern city with a population of 350,000, suffered particularly severe damage as it was close to the epicenter. Three hikers were killed by falling rocks on a trail in Taruga National Park, and another death occurred on a highway near the east coast. Videos posted on local social media showed passers-by hurriedly fleeing as the eight-story Tianwangxing building in the city center tilted toward the road during the earthquake, and drivers also abandoned their cars and evacuated.

The Taiwan Meteorological Administration explained, “The epicenter was close to the land and the depth was very shallow, so the tremors would have been felt throughout Taiwan.” “Every bottle of coffee or perfume she put on her dormitory desk spilled,” said Kim, a Korean international student living in Taipei. “I was scared and hid under the desk, but the vibration continued for 20 to 30 seconds.”

Taipei subway operations were suspended for over an hour that day. Even after the resumption of service, high-speed trains operated at low speeds for safety reasons. Additionally, more than 368,700 households across Taiwan experienced power outages. About 10 minutes after the first earthquake, more than 150 aftershocks followed, including a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. The Korea Meteorological Administration also announced, “Aftershocks of 6.5 to 7.0 magnitude may continue to occur over the next 3 to 4 days.”

This earthquake is considered the strongest earthquake since the 921 earthquake that struck the Nantou County area in central Taiwan on September 21, 1999. At that time, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake killed about 2,400 people and injured 8,600. After the September 21 earthquake, Taiwan changed its regulations to require that both public and private buildings be designed to withstand an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale. As a result, the damage was less than that of the 1999 earthquake, but the epicenter depth was shallow at 15.5 km, so the building collapsed despite the earthquake-resistant design. Neighboring Japan and the Philippines were also nervous. Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, issued a tsunami warning of up to 3m in height following the earthquake. At the time, public broadcaster NHK broadcast a special emergency disaster broadcast instead of regular broadcasts, and the Philippines also warned residents of coastal areas to evacuate. However, about three hours after the earthquake, the tsunami threat had largely passed and all advisories in both countries were lifted.

It has been reported that there have been no casualties among Korean residents in Taiwan due to the earthquake. It is reported that about 50 Koreans are staying in the Hualien area alone.

China, which has a tense political relationship, immediately announced its intention to provide relief. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of China, which is in charge of Taiwan affairs, said in a statement under the name of its spokesperson, “The mainland (China) expresses condolences to our Taiwanese compatriots who suffered damage from the earthquake. “We are willing to provide the necessary support,” he said.

Reporter Kim Cheol-joong [email protected]
Reporter Kim Ye-yoon [email protected]
Tokyo = Correspondent Lee Sang-hoon [email protected]


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