9 killed, 900 hurt in Taiwan’s strongest quake in 25 years : The Tribune India

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9 killed, 900 hurt in Taiwan’s strongest quake in 25 years

PM Modi makes rare reference to Taipei in his condolence message

9 killed, 900 hurt in Taiwan’s strongest quake in 25 years

Rescue underway after an earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan. AP



Tribune News Service

HUALIEN (Taiwan), April 3

Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in at least 25 years killed nine persons on Wednesday and injured more than 900. Over 50 workers travelling in minibuses to a hotel in a national park are reported missing.

A video grab of a building that partially collapsed after a strong earthquake struck Taiwan early Wednesday. AP/PTI

Some buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated county of Hualien, near the epicentre of the 7.2 magnitude quake, which struck just offshore in the morning and triggered massive landslides.

The quake hit at a depth of 15.5 km, just as people were headed for work and school, setting off a tsunami warning for southern Japan and the Philippines that was later lifted. “At present the most important thing, the top priority, is to rescue people,” said President-elect Lai Ching-te, speaking outside one of the collapsed buildings in Hualien.

In a rare reference to Taiwan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of lives due to the earthquake and offered condolences to the affected families.

In a post on X, PM Modi said, “We stand in solidarity with the resilient people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath and recover from it.” The government usually does not make a reference to Taiwan as it subscribes to the ‘One China’ principle.

Taipei immediately responded to the PM’s post. “We’re touched by your heartfelt words of sympathy and solidarity, PM. Your compassion is deeply appreciated amid this dark hour for Taiwan. We’re thankful for the kind thoughts from India and will remain resilient as we rebuild and recover,” posted the Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry on X. The White House said the US stood ready to provide any assistance necessary. /Agencies

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