Rescue efforts continue as number of injured goes past 1,000 in Taiwan quake

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Members of a rescue team search for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien, Taiwan. — APF/File
Members of a rescue team search for survivors in a damaged building in Hualien, Taiwan. — APF/File

Authorities in Taiwan continue to work strenuously to rescue hundreds of people who have been left stranded following the devastation caused by Wednesday’s earthquake which left more than 1,000 people injured.

With the death tally standing at nine, rescue officials successfully rescued people near a Taroko National Park via helicopters, however, 34 people are still missing, reported BBC.

The development comes after the Island nation was stuck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the strongest tremor witnessed by the country in at least 25 years, also led to the government issuing a tsunami warning.

The earthquake struck 18 kilometres south of Hualien and has since then been followed up by over 200 aftershocks, some of which were of 6.5 magnitude.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration said the earthquake registered the second-highest intensity of an “Upper 6” in Hualien county, on the 1-7 intensity scale.

In an Upper 6 earthquake, most non-reinforced concrete-block walls collapse and people find it impossible to remain standing or move without crawling, the Japan Meteorological Agency says.

With the number of those who have been left stranded increasing to 646, the authorities, as per local media reports, have even airdropped supplies to those who have been left stranded due to the roads being cut off after yesterday’s earthquake.

According to Al Jazeera, as many as 1,038 people have been wounded in the Wednesday’s earthquake.

Meanwhile, rescue officials have resorted to utilising drones and helicopters to  search for people trapped in the national park.

The tremor, which according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration had a depth of 15.5 kilometres, resulted in the collapse of over 100 buildings and even saw Japan and Philippines issuing tsunami warnings.

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