Taiwan quake leaves one dead, at least 50 injured

A powerful earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan at around 7:58 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Authorities say the quake has left one person dead and more than 50 injured.

Taiwan's Central Weather Administration says the epicenter was about 25 kilometers off Hualien County in eastern Taiwan. The estimated focus was about 15 kilometers deep. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.2.

The Weather Administration has issued a tsunami warning and is calling on people to be on the alert for sudden changes in sea levels. It says tsunami could reach as high as one meter.

The quake registered an intensity of upper 6 on the Taiwanese scale of 0 to 7 in Hualien County, and upper 5 in Yilan County in the northeast.

It registered an intensity of lower 5 in the northern cities of Taipei and New Taipei, and in central Taiwan's Taichung.

A series of earthquakes have occurred since the initial temblor struck, including one that had a magnitude of 6.5.

Local fire authorities say they have confirmed that one person was killed and at least 50 others were injured in Hualien Country.

Taiwanese media outlets say buildings have collapsed in Hualien County and other areas. They say operations are underway to rescue people trapped in buildings.

They also note that individuals have been injured by landslides and falling rocks.

Lifelines have been affected as well. Power outages have been confirmed over a wide area. Water and gas mains are down and railway services have been suspended.

Strong earthquakes occur frequently in eastern Taiwan. In 2018, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake left 17 people dead and more than 290 others injured. In 2022, a quake left one person dead and more than 140 others injured.