7.3-magnitude quake hits China's Taiwan

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-03 08:32
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This photo taken on April 3, 2024 shows fallen tiles of a damaged building in Taipei, Taiwan. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted the sea area near Hualien of China's Taiwan at 7:58 am Wednesday (Beijing Time), according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. [Photo/Xinhua]

TAIPEI/BEIJING -- A 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted the sea area near Hualien in China's Taiwan on Wednesday, leading to the suspension of work and school classes in Hualien.

The quake struck at 7:58 am Wednesday (Beijing Time) and the epicenter was monitored at 23.81 degrees north latitude and 121.74 degrees east longitude, at a depth of 12 km, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The Ministry of Natural Resources warning center issued a red alert for a tsunami soon after the earthquake. It later issued an orange alert for tsunami.

Taiwan's meteorological agency measured the quake as 7.2 magnitude, saying it was the strongest earthquake to hit the island in 25 years since a deadly earthquake struck on Sept 21, 1999.

According to the agency, the earthquake was monitored at a depth of 15.5 km. The epicenter was located 25 km south-southeast of Hualien. The maximum intensity recorded was 6 magnitude in Hualien county.

Local authorities have announced the suspension of work and school classes in Hualien.

Strong tremors were felt across Taiwan. Xinhua reporters in Taipei experienced intense tremors as buildings shook continuously for over a minute. Elevators in the reporters' apartment building were suspended from operation.

Multiple residential buildings partially collapsed in Hualien, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents. Falling rocks were also reported in hilly areas.

A rubber factory building in New Taipei City collapsed due to the quake.

Subways in multiple counties and cities on the island have been temporarily suspended. Taipei's metro system resumed operation after being suspended for around one hour.

Multiple aftershocks measuring above 5.0 magnitude hit Hualien and nearby areas.

Taiwan's meteorological agency also predicted earthquakes measuring magnitude 7 might happen in the next three days.

Across the Taiwan Strait, tremors were also felt in Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu on the Chinese mainland.

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