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Support Offered by the U.S. as Taiwan Earthquake Claims Nine Lives and Injures 1,000

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The powerful earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday led to at least nine fatalities and over 1,000 injuries. The quake caused extensive damage to numerous buildings and triggered tsunami warnings that reached Japan and the Philippines, although these warnings were later lifted.

In the aftermath, many people were reported to be safe but stranded in areas inaccessible due to massive landslides caused by the tremors. These landslides particularly affected tunnels that run across the island from north to south.

Officials noted that this earthquake was one of the strongest in decades for Taiwan and cautioned that more aftershocks could follow in the coming days.

Despite the significant impact, the island’s strict building codes and public awareness of disaster protocols helped mitigate the extent of the catastrophe in this seismically active region near the convergence of tectonic plates.

Reflecting on the event, a resident named Chang, living near a collapsed printing warehouse in the capital, expressed gratitude that all 50 individuals inside the building were rescued safely despite the destruction caused by the quake. “Though many household items fell during the tremor, people remained unharmed,” Chang reported.

Wu Chien-fu, the director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Centre, highlighted that this earthquake matched the intensity of the 1999 7.6-magnitude quake, which claimed around 2,400 lives in Taiwan’s deadliest natural disaster on record.

The magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck just before 8 a.m. local time, with the epicenter approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien City, Taiwan, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers.

Tragically, three individuals were fatally crushed by dislodged boulders while on a morning hike near the city, adding to the death toll. Separately, three more individuals lost their lives in vehicular accidents caused by falling rocks, while another fatality occurred at a quarry.

The National Fire Agency confirmed that all fatalities occurred in Hualien county, with 1,011 people sustaining injuries across Taiwan, although the severity of these injuries was not specified.

Offer of Assistance from the U.S.

In response to the earthquake’s aftermath in Taiwan, the White House announced, “The United States is prepared to offer any necessary aid to Taiwan.” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reiterated this commitment, stating, “We are closely monitoring the situation following the earthquake in Taiwan and assessing its potential impact on Japan.”

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