Taiwan Earthquake: According to a Survivor, the Mountain “rained rocks like bullets”

Efforts are underway in Taiwan to assist over 600 individuals who are currently stranded, following the most severe earthquake the island has faced in a quarter of a century.

A survivor has shared a harrowing account of the devastating rockslides that occurred at the coal mine where he was working.

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck near the eastern county of Hualien, resulting in the loss of nine lives and causing injuries to over 1,000 individuals.

Helicopters have successfully rescued some individuals who were trapped in tunnels and near a national park. However, there are still 34 people who remain missing.

The number of individuals trapped or stranded has significantly increased, going from approximately 100 to 660, as phone signal began to return in the mountainous areas.

The majority of individuals at a secluded hotel are currently unable to depart due to the roads being in disrepair. Authorities are currently strategizing the most effective approach to safely extract them.

According to local reports, food supplies have been air-dropped to numerous individuals who are currently trapped in these areas.

“The mountain began showering rocks with incredible force, leaving us with no safe haven. In a frantic scramble for protection, everyone sought refuge behind the sandbags,” recounted a survivor named Chu to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Three individuals tragically lost their lives while hiking on a trail near Taroko National Park, which is renowned for its breathtaking gorge. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Hualien.

Relief efforts in Hualien city, the capital of the county affected by the earthquake, are progressing rapidly. Workers are efficiently utilizing excavators and other heavy equipment to demolish multiple damaged buildings.

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Thursday morning saw relief workers diligently removing large boulders near railway lines, allowing normal train services to resume.

In order to safeguard against potential aftershocks, a significant quantity of gravel and rocks are being utilized to stabilize the Uranus building, a towering 10-storey structure that has been tilting downwards since the earthquake occurred.

According to local reports, a female teacher tragically lost her life while attempting to save her beloved pet inside the building.

It appears as though the red brick Uranus building is leaning dangerously

Hsu Chiu-yueh, who witnessed the collapse of the Uranus building, described the terrifying experience to the BBC: “The ground was trembling so violently that I struggled to maintain my balance.” I was filled with fear. I sensed a loss of control over my legs. Thanks to my colleagues, they convinced me to join them and go out.

“As we were leaving the building, we noticed a significant amount of dust in the air…” “It was later discovered that it originated from the building across the street, which had experienced a partial collapse,” explained the individual, who is 50 years old.

A Hualien resident shared her experience of how the earthquake caused chaos in her home.

“I was just getting out of bed when a clothes rack and a low cabinet toppled over,” Ocean Tsai shared with BBC Chinese.

“It continued to intensify, and concerns about our possessions at home began to arise. Thankfully, aside from the motorcycle falling over, the impact was minimal.

An earthquake occurred 18km (11mi) south of Hualien, and it was followed by over 200 aftershocks. Many of these aftershocks were at least 6.5 magnitude or higher, making it difficult for search and rescue teams to carry out their operations. Taiwanese authorities anticipate the occurrence of additional aftershocks in the coming days.

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Images reveal the dramatic collapse of the road outside Hualien’s Qingshui tunnel, a precarious route that hugs the rugged coastline of Hualien.

Routes like Qingshui are highly sought after by tourists due to the breathtaking views they offer, stretching from the mountains all the way to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. However, their reputation is not without its dangers, particularly due to the risk of landslides.

In the northern region, the bustling city of Taipei experienced a strong tremor, causing significant damage to buildings and prompting the evacuation of residents. Local TV stations broadcasted footage of damaged vehicles and stores in disarray.

The earthquake is in close proximity to land and has a shallow depth. The sensation is experienced throughout Taiwan and the surrounding offshore islands… According to Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre, the recent seismic activity is the most powerful seen in the past 25 years.

There were reports of power cuts and internet outages throughout the island.

The earthquake also caused concerns earlier in the day on Wednesday in nearby Japanese and Philippine islands, but these concerns were later reduced.

Although Taiwan has a long history of earthquakes, residents and long-term expatriates in Taipei are describing this recent quake as the most powerful they have felt in many years.

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