Potent earthquake hits Taiwan, kills 4, injures over 60


(MENAFN) A potent earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, resulting in the loss of four lives and leaving nearly 60 individuals injured.

The quake caused extensive damage to numerous buildings and triggered tsunami alerts reaching Japan and the Philippines, which were later rescinded. Authorities described the earthquake as the most severe to hit the island in many years and cautioned the public about the possibility of additional aftershocks in the coming days.

"The earthquake is close to land and it's shallow. It's felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands," Wu Chien-fu, who serves as the director of Taipei's Central Weather Administration's Seismology Center, made the statement.

Stringent building regulations and heightened disaster awareness seem to have prevented a major catastrophe for the island, which frequently experiences earthquakes due to its location near the convergence of two tectonic plates.

Wu noted that the recent earthquake was the most powerful since a 7.6-magnitude quake occurred in September 1999, claiming approximately 2,400 lives in the deadliest natural disaster in Taiwan's history.

The magnitude-7.4 earthquake on Wednesday struck just before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT), with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) pinpointing the epicenter 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Taiwan's Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers.

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