Powerful Taiwan earthquake traps people, derails train: NPR

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This photo provided by Hualien County Fire Department shows firefighters searching for victims trapped in a collapsed residential building following an earthquake in Yuli Township, Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Sunday, September 18, 2022.

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This photo provided by Hualien County Fire Department shows firefighters searching for victims trapped in a collapsed residential building following an earthquake in Yuli Township, Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Sunday, September 18, 2022.

PA

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A strong earthquake rocked much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, stranding around 400 tourists on the mountainside and derailing part of a passenger train.

The magnitude 6.8 quake was the largest of dozens that have rocked the island’s southeast coast since Saturday night, when a magnitude 6.4 quake hit the same area. No serious injuries were immediately reported.

Most of the damage appeared to be north of the epicenter, which Taiwan’s Central Meteorological Bureau said was in the city of Chishang at a relatively shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles).

The three-story building, which had a 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor and residences on the upper floors, collapsed in the nearby town of Yuli, the island’s Central News Agency reported.

The 70-year-old building owner and his wife were rescued first, but it took longer to reach a 39-year-old woman and her 5-year-old daughter.

A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket and being handed a metal ladder from the top of the debris by helmeted rescuers in orange uniforms.

The top two stories of the building were left sprawling across a small street and across, with electrical wires pulled through the fallen structure.

More than 7,000 households were reported without power in Yuli and water pipes were also damaged.

Police and firefighters rushed to a bridge collapse over a two-lane road in what appeared to be a rural part of the same town where three people and one or more vehicles may have fallen, media said.

Also in Yuli, a landslide trapped nearly 400 tourists on a mountain famous for the orange day lilies that cover its slopes at this time of year, the Central News Agency reported. They had no electricity and weak cell phone signal.

Debris from a canopy falling onto a platform at Dongli Station in Fuli Town, located between Yuli and the epicenter of Chishang, hit a passing train, derailing six carriages, the agency said. central press, quoting the railway administration. None of the 20 passengers was injured.

The tremor was felt at the northern end of the island in the capital, Taipei. In the city of Taoyuan, west of Taipei and 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the epicenter, a man was injured by a ceiling collapse on the 5th floor of a sports center.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory for several southern Japanese islands near Taiwan, but later lifted it.

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