Search for missing people after Taiwan earthquake Helicopter carries miners to safety

Wednesday’s 7.4-magnitude earthquake killed nine people and injured more than 1,000, but strict building regulations and widespread public awareness of disaster preparedness appear to have averted a major disaster on the island.

In the worst-hit city, dozens of residents spent the night outdoors rather than in apartments still shaken by aftershocks, as massive engineering operations were underway to repair damaged roads and shore up leaning buildings. things.

Dramatic video released by Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operations Center on Thursday showed a helicopter flying two sorties to rescue six miners trapped in a gypsum quarry in Hualien County near the earthquake’s epicenter.

Rescuers have learned the whereabouts of dozens of people trapped in the county’s fortified network of tunnels, a feature of the roads leading to Hualien City from the north and west that pass through scenic mountains and cliffs.

“I also hope to use today to find all the people who are trapped and whose whereabouts are unknown and help them settle down,” Prime Minister Chen Jianren said after being briefed at the Hualien Emergency Operations Center.

The island has been rocked by more than 300 strong aftershocks since the first quake, and the government warned people to be careful of landslides or rockfalls if heading to the countryside during the two-day Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, which begins on Thursday.

Traditionally, families visit their ancestors’ graves during the festival, clean the graves and burn offerings.

“Do not go up the mountain unless necessary,” President Tsai Ing-wen warned in a late-night message.

The latest figures from the national disaster relief agency said the earthquake had killed nine people and injured 1,050.

Authorities made contact with 101 people trapped in tunnels or restricted areas, but lost contact with 46 others – although they were considered safe.

In Hualien, a glass-fronted building now leaning at a 45-degree angle after half its first floor burned down has become a symbol of the earthquake. “After the earthquake, we immediately evacuated guests… and urged them to leave,” Wang Zhongchang, 55, owner of nearby Hualien Hero Hotel, told AFP.

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“I’ve stayed in the area – I haven’t left. There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ve been through it before… but this time it’s worse.” He was referring to the 1999 7.6-magnitude earthquake that killed 2,400 people. It was the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s history.

More than 100 people chose to spend the night in outdoor tents in a shelter set up at an elementary school Wednesday night as aftershocks continued.

“Our concern is that when a big aftershock occurs, it may be difficult for us to evacuate again – especially with babies,” said Hendri Sutrisno, a 30-year-old Indonesian professor at Donghua University.

When the earthquake hit, he and his wife hid under a table with their baby and fled the apartment.

“We have all the necessary stuff, blankets, toilets and a place to rest,” he said.

social media overflow

Social media has been flooded with videos and images from across the island shared by people who experienced the earthquake.

In one video, a man is seen struggling to exit a rooftop swimming pool as the water swirls violently. In another photo, a webcam captured three cats running wildly as they rocked from side to side in the apartment.

Officials have not yet provided an estimate of nationwide repair costs, but operations at Taiwan’s main chip manufacturing plant have been minimally affected.

TSMC, the world’s largest chipmaker, said: “Within 10 hours after the earthquake, the overall tool recovery rate of our wafer fabs (manufacturing facilities) reached more than 70%, of which the recovery rate of new factories such as Fab 18 reached more than 80%. “.

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The official Xinhua News Agency said on Wednesday that Taiwan, which China claims as self-ruled territory, is “closely following” the earthquake and is “willing to provide disaster relief assistance.”

In Washington, the White House said the United States was ready to provide “any assistance necessary.”

6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Japan, no tsunami warning

Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency said an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale struck the Fukushima region in northeastern Japan on Thursday, but no tsunami warning was issued.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties after the quake, which had an epicenter depth of 40 kilometers and was also felt in Tokyo.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, said “no abnormalities” were detected at the affected nuclear power plant or other nuclear power plants in the area. Japan, one of the most tectonically active countries in the world, has strict building standards in place to ensure buildings can withstand the strongest earthquakes.

The archipelago, which has a population of about 125 million, experiences about 1,500 tremors every year, the vast majority of which are mild. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude of Thursday’s earthquake at 6.1, with a focal depth of 40.1 kilometers.

Japan’s largest recorded earthquake was a 9.0-magnitude undersea tremor off Japan’s northeastern coast in March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that left about 18,500 people dead or missing.

The 2011 disaster also caused meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing Japan’s worst postwar disaster and its worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The total cost is estimated at 16.9 trillion yen ($112 billion), not including the dangerous decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear facility, which is expected to take decades.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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