O An earthquake with a magnitude greater than seven on the Richter scale left nine dead, more than 900 injured and more than a hundred missing, according to a provisional report.

It also damaged dozens of buildings and is considered the strongest to hit the island in the last 25 years.

During the visit to Hualien, close to the epicenter and where all the confirmed deaths occurred, Lai stated that the most important task was to rescue the buried or missing people, according to the Spanish agency EFE.

In a speech given next to one of the collapsed buildings, he also said that it was necessary to ensure that the injured received adequate medical care.

Lai promised that the central executive will “fully support” local governments in relief and reconstruction work, providing subsidies and comprehensive support measures to victims.

He announced that the government has already transferred 300 million Taiwan dollars (8.69 million euros at current exchange rates) to the local authorities in Hualien.

The magnitude of the underwater earthquake was estimated at 7.5 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 7.4 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and 7.2 by the Taiwan Meteorological Agency (CWA).

The earthquake occurred at 07:58 (00:58 in Lisbon), 25 kilometers southeast of Hualien County, and was followed by many aftershocks.

“My house shook violently, the pictures on the wall, my television and my bar fell,” a Hualien resident told SET TV, according to the French agency AFP.

Local television showed multi-story buildings in Hualien and elsewhere tilting dangerously as a result of the earthquake.

Strict building regulations and good disaster preparedness appear to have prevented a major catastrophe on the island, which is regularly hit by earthquakes.

“I’m used to it, but today was the first time I was scared by an earthquake,” said Keng Hsien-hsuen, a resident of an apartment on the fifth floor of a building in Taipei.

“I was woken up by the earthquake. I had never felt such an intense shock,” he added, according to the US agency AP.

The JMA reported that a 30-centimeter ‘tsunami’ was detected off the coast of the Japanese island of Yonaguni about 15 minutes after the earthquake.

All ‘tsunami’ warnings in the region were lifted in the afternoon (local time).

The earthquake was felt in Shanghai and several provinces along China’s southeast coast, according to Chinese media.

China and Taiwan are separated by about 160 kilometers.

Taiwan lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” the line of seismic faults that encircle the Pacific Ocean and where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

The worst earthquake in recent years in Taiwan occurred on September 21, 1999, with a magnitude of 7.7.

It caused 2,400 deaths and around 100,000 injuries, and destroyed thousands of buildings.

Read Also: Earthquake in Taiwan disrupts trains in mainland China

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2533239/presidente-eleito-de-taiwan-promete-ajuda-para-vitimas-de-sismo

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