Taiwan Earthquake: Death Toll Hits 10, Hundreds Stranded

Taiwan Earthquake
Taiwan Earthquake: The death toll from the powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday has risen to 10, officials reported on Thursday. Alongside this tragic figure, hundreds of individuals are still stranded or trapped in various locations across the affected area.

As of the latest update, at least 11 people are missing, and approximately 705 individuals require rescue assistance. The majority of those stranded, numbering 688, were located near the Silks Palace Hotel and Tien Hsiang Youth Activity Center. Authorities have established a rescue post in this area to provide immediate aid in emergencies and coordinate efforts to evacuate those in need.

Ten employees of the Silks Palace Hotel were initially reported as stranded in the Jiuqu Cave area, although this number has decreased from earlier reports of 30 employees and 24 tourists. Additionally, six students from Tung Hua University remain stranded, according to officials.

The earthquake, which struck just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday with its epicenter near Hualien, a city on Taiwan’s eastern coast, has been followed by more than 100 aftershocks. One such aftershock, measuring a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, also occurred near Hualien, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Efforts to rescue those stranded have been underway since the early hours of Thursday. Minister of the Interior Lin Yu-chang reported that search and rescue teams have reached some individuals near the Silks Palace Hotel, including one individual with apparent leg injuries. Aerial surveillance has also identified individuals in a minibus on Taiwan Highway 8, which passes through the affected region.

Lin emphasized the importance of considering weather conditions for ongoing rescue operations, indicating that efforts are being made to assess the latest weather forecasts. If conditions permit, aircrews will be deployed to transport personnel and supplies to the Tianxiang area to aid in rescue efforts. The priority remains on rescuing those trapped and in need of assistance as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

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