Taiwan Earthquake Update: Over 1,000 Injured, Hotel Workers Remain Unaccounted For

Taiwan Earthquake Injuries Top 1,000, Hotel Workers Still Missing

The toll of injuries resulting from a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Taiwan surged past 1,000 on Thursday, while the number of fatalities remained at nine. Additionally, 38 workers en route to a hotel in a national park are still unaccounted for, although some have been located since the quake.

The earthquake, the most severe in a quarter of a century, struck on Wednesday morning as residents were preparing for their daily routines, focusing its epicenter in the predominantly rural and sparsely populated Hualien County.

While the tremors were felt strongly in the capital city of Taipei, the damage and disruptions there were relatively minimal.

According to Taiwan’s fire department, the count of injuries has risen to 1,038, with 52 individuals reported missing. Among them, a few of the hotel workers destined for a resort in Taroko National Park have been found, but 38 are still unaccounted for.

Taiwan Earthquake Update: Over 1,000 Injured, Hotel Workers Remain Unaccounted For
Taiwan Earthquake Update: Over 1,000 Injured, Hotel Workers Remain Unaccounted For (Credits: Today Online)

Rescue efforts by the fire department are primarily concentrated on individuals trapped along the cross-island highway, which cuts through the gorge linking Hualien to the west coast of Taiwan and serves as a popular tourist route. Drones and helicopters are being utilized to locate individuals in the gorge, and necessary supplies will be airlifted to them upon discovery.

On Thursday morning, a helicopter successfully rescued six individuals who were trapped in a mining area, according to the fire department.

Furthermore, the railway line to Hualien resumed operations earlier than expected on Thursday, although one rural station north of Hualien city remains closed due to structural damage, as stated by the railway administration.

In Hualien city, where all individuals trapped in buildings have been rescued, numerous aftershocks have compelled some residents to spend the night outdoors. One resident, 52-year-old Yu, sought refuge in a tent set up on a sports ground designated as a temporary shelter due to her fear of sleeping in her apartment, which she described as chaotic.

“The aftershocks were terrifying. They were incessant. I don’t dare to sleep indoors,” she expressed.

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