More than 70 miners trapped in two rock quarries after earthquake strikes Taiwan

3 April 2024, 17:02

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter of a century rocked the island during morning rush hour
Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter of a century rocked the island during morning rush hour. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

More than 70 miners are trapped in two rock quarries after an earthquake rocked Taiwan.

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At least nine people were killed and more than 900 were injured after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Hualien County at around 8am on Wednesday.

Taiwanese authorities said dozens of miners were trapped following the quake, with 64 people in one quarry and a further six in another.

They were initially believed to have been trapped in a coal mine.

Read more: Death toll rises to seven and over 700 injured as Taiwan hit by strongest earthquake in 25 years

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Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years kills nine and leaves dozens trapped

Among those to have died, three were struck by falling rocks as they hiked along the popular Dekalun Trial in the Taroko National Park.

The fourth victim was a truck driver, whose vehicle was hit by a bolder on Suhuah Highway, which connects Hualien and Luodong about 118 kilometres (73 miles) further up the coast.

Another died in a private car from falling debris at the Huide tunnel.

One other person died at a quarry for the country's national cement company and the seventh was a constriction worker who was killed on a nearby highway.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake damaged buildings and caused a small tsunami, which hit southern Japanese islands.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said there was been no report of injury or damage in Japan.

He urged the residents in the Okinawa region to stay on high ground until all tsunami advisories are lifted.

He cautioned the people against disinformation and urged them to stay calm and assist others.

Meanwhile, a five-storey building in Taiwan's Hualien appeared heavily damaged with the first floor collapsing and leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle.

In the capital Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings and within some newer office complexes.

Wu Chien-fu, the head of Taiwan's earthquake monitoring bureau, said effects were detected as far away as Kinmen, a Taiwanese-controlled island off the coast of China.

Chinese media confirmed the earthquake was felt in Shanghai and several provinces along China's south-eastern coast.

China and Taiwan are about 100 miles apart.