East Asia

Taiwan earthquake – live updates: Death toll rises to seven with 77 trapped after 7.2-magnitude quake

Seven people have been confirmed dead and more than 700 are injured as a search and rescue operation continues after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast.

The earthquake – the strongest in 25 years in Taiwan – set off tsunami warnings on the island and across neighbouring countries, seismology officials said.

More than 77 people remain trapped under the rubble after the quake caused widespread damage and power outages across the country.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.58am local time, was located about 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, said the US Geological Survey. The USGS initially measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.4, though Taiwan’s own monitoring agency put it at 7.2.

Tremors set off at least nine landslides and debris collapsed hillsides onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, according to local media reports.

Train services were suspended across the island of 23 million people, as was the subway service in Taipei.

In Japan’s Okinawa, the first small tsunami waves have hit the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands. That came not long after the meteorological agency warned there could be tsunami waves of up to three metres.


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