9 killed, 821 others injured in Taiwan earthquake


9 killed, 821 others injured in Taiwan earthquake

Taipei: At least nine people have died and 821 have been injured in an earthquake that erupted in Taiwan, Taiwanese broadcaster Sanlih reported on Wednesday, citing fire services.

Earlier in the day, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Taiwan has become the strongest to hit the island in 25 years, Wu Chien-fu, the director of the Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Centre, said.

As of 16:30 local time (8:30 GMT), the death toll stands at nine; another 821 are injured, and at least 127 have been trapped, the broadcaster reported.

At least eight F-16 fighter jets stationed at the Taiwanese air forces’ base in Hualien County were slightly damaged by the earthquake, the China Times newspaper reported later in the day, saying that the tremors had cracked base hangar walls, causing them to collapse.

The main mechanisms of the fighters were not harmed by the quake, the newspaper reported, adding that the necessary repair work has been conducted and the combat readiness of the fighters has been fully restored.

About 1,000 people might be trapped in the mountains of Taiwan’s Taroko National Park as the rescue team is attempting to get in touch with climber groups, the island’s Central News Agency reported on Wednesday.

At least 654 people were staying in the park overnight on Tuesday, while another 680 climbers registered to visit the national park on Wednesday, the news agency reported.

At least two German citizens have been trapped in Chongde Tunnel in Taroko Park, German newspaper Bild reported.

There have been no reports of Russian citizens injured or killed in the earthquake, the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission told Sputnik, adding that it continues to closely monitor the situation.

There are currently no organised Russian tourist groups on the island, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) said later in the day.

On Wednesday morning, a series of powerful earthquakes were recorded off Taiwan. A spokesperson for the Japan Meteorological Agency said the powerful earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7, followed by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake and a 6.3-magnitude earth tremor.

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