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7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Leaves Seven Dead and Dozens Injured 

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On Wednesday, Taiwan was jolted by a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake, marking the strongest tremor to hit the island in over 25 years. 

The sad event wreaked havoc in the eastern county of Hualien, leaving a trail of destruction, claiming seven lives, and injuring over 50 individuals.

The earthquake, with its epicenter located in the mountainous region of Hualien, triggered widespread panic and devastation as buildings crumbled and residents scrambled for safety. 

Taiwan’s government reported that at least 26 buildings collapsed, with more than half of them situated in Hualien.

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 Rescue efforts are currently underway to extricate approximately 20 individuals trapped beneath the rubble.

Eyewitnesses recounted the terrifying moments when the quake struck, describing the sensation of buildings swaying precariously. 

Chang Yu-Lin, a 60-year-old hospital worker from Taipei, expressed the intensity of the tremor, stating, “It felt as if the house was going to topple.”

In the aftermath of the quake, tsunami warnings were issued for southern Japan and the Philippines, heightening fears of additional catastrophe. 

While Japan’s weather agency reported small tsunami waves in parts of Okinawa, the Philippines Seismology Agency urged coastal residents to seek higher ground. 

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Fortunately, the tsunami alerts were later lifted, providing some relief to the affected regions.

Despite the chaotic incident, Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, emerged relatively unscathed, with minimal reports of damage. 

The city’s transportation system, including the MRT, swiftly resumed operations following safety inspections.

The earthquake also disrupted power supply to over 87,000 households in Taiwan, although the country’s nuclear power stations remained unaffected. 

Major corporations, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), evacuated some facilities as a precautionary measure, causing a ripple effect in the stock market with shares dipping for TSMC, Foxconn, and Au Optronics.

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Taiwanese officials described the quake as the most severe since 1999, when a devastating 7.6 magnitude tremor claimed thousands of lives and left extensive destruction in its wake. 

The current earthquake registered as an “Upper 6” on the intensity scale in Hualien county, indicating widespread structural damage and significant impact on residents’ mobility.

Chioma Kalu

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