Strong Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, Collapsing Buildings, Triggering Landslides

Apr 4, 2024

Taiwan ’s most powerful earthquake in 25 years struck the east side of the island nation during Wednesday’s morning rush hour. It killed nine people and injured over 1,000. 

The magnitude 7.4 quake swayed buildings and rumbled streets for over a minute. It sent people in the East Asian nation fleeing from windows. And it trapped 70 workers in quarries. More than 50 people, who were riding in small buses to a hotel in a national park, remained missing, Reuters reported.  

Some buildings collapsed in the capital city of Taipei. The quake also triggered landslides and knocked out power for thousands of homes and businesses. TSMC is the country’s major microchip plant in Hsinchu County. It evacuated all of its factories. The quake, though, was centered much farther south in the sea. It was about 15 miles from Hualien City on the island’s eastern coast.   

Taiwan's residents are used to earthquakes. The island rests along fault lines. Thus, the country has some of the world’s most prepared emergency systems. Still, The Associated Press reported, authorities were not fully ready for such a massive quake. Officials failed to send out alerts when the first tremors were registered. 

By late Wednesday evening, more than 200 aftershocks had been reported, The New York Times said. Some of them had reached over magnitude 5.  

Videos posted online were harrowing. They showed some buildings collapsed. Some were leaning to one side. Other videos displayed cars swaying on roadways amid rush hour and drivers stopping their cars on a shaking highway. 

Rescue missions were organized across the urban region of Hualien. Their goal was to assist people trapped in buildings. Major construction equipment, such as excavators, were propped against buildings to shore them up and prevent collapse.      

Reflect: How can cities and countries help prepare their citizens for earthquakes? 

Photo of earthquake damage in Hualien from Reuters.

Which of the following paragraphs emphasizes the reasons why Taiwan experiences many earthquakes? (Common Core RI.5.5; RI.6.5)
a. Paragraph 1
b. Paragraph 2
c. Paragraph 3
d. Paragraph 4
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