Rescue Efforts Intensify After Strong Earthquake Rocks Taiwan

Rescue operations have been ramped up in Taiwan following a powerful earthquake that struck the region, particularly impacting the city of Hualien and Taroko national park. The earthquake, measuring 7.2 on Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency’s scale, unleashed chaos with landslides, collapsed buildings, and numerous aftershocks, hindering search efforts.

As the Central Weather Administration predicts more aftershocks with magnitudes between 6.5 and 7 in the coming days, rescuers are racing against time to reach over 100 people trapped in mining areas and the Jiuqiu cave system. Premier Chen Chien-jen emphasized the importance of finding and aiding those stranded in the aftermath of the disaster.

Unfortunate incidents, including four deaths in the national park – three hikers and one driver – have been reported, fueling concerns for the safety of both locals and tourists in the region. The earthquake, which also caused a chemical fire at a university laboratory in Hualien, is deemed the strongest in Taiwan since 1999.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), a major supplier to tech giants Apple and Nvidia, had to evacuate some facilities post-quake, ensuring the safety of its employees while also managing production activities. The White House, through the National Security Council and spokesperson Adrienne Watson, extended support to Taiwan in the face of the disaster.

Amidst the crisis, tensions between Taiwan and China persisted, with Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry criticizing China’s offer of aid while concurrently dealing with military posturing from the mainland. As the region grapples with the aftermath of the earthquake, solidarity and swift actions are crucial to aid recovery efforts.

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