12 Hong Kong residents in Taiwan seek assistance after earthquake, sea-level anomaly observed near Shek Pik

Shek Pik

3rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Observatory issued a Tsunami Information Bulletin at 2pm today, in response to a severe earthquake that struck Taiwan earlier in the day. The earthquake registered a magnitude of 7.3 and occurred at approximately 7.58am.

Following the earthquake, a sea-level anomaly of around 7 centimetres was observed near Shek Pik at approximately 1pm, indicating the possible arrival of a tsunami. However, it has been confirmed that the tsunami has since subsided.

The Airport Authority reported that as of 10am this morning, two flights bound for Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan, from Hong Kong had to be rerouted due to the earthquake. However, flights between Hong Kong and other destinations such as Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung have not been affected.

In response to the earthquake in Taiwan, the Immigration Department has taken immediate action to assist Hong Kong residents. They have liaised with relevant government departments, including the Travel Industry Authority and Travel Industry Council, to gather information about the situation. As of 12pm today, the Immigration Department has received distress calls from 12 Hong Kong residents who are currently in Taiwan. The department has confirmed that these individuals are in safe locations and has provided them with relevant information and assistance.

The Immigration Department would like to remind Hong Kong residents who are abroad and require assistance to contact their “Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Abroad” helpline, which operates 24 hours a day, at (852) 1868. They can also seek help by using the Immigration Department’s mobile application to make a network call to the “1868” hotline or by sending a message to the 1868 WhatsApp helpline.

According to the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, there are currently around 30 tour groups in Taiwan involving approximately 900 individuals. However, only 2 to 3 of these groups are in Yilan, with none in Hualien. The council has received some inquiries from independent travelers regarding the situation.

Representatives from two local travel agencies have confirmed that all their tour members in Taiwan are safe at the moment. They will assess the situation and decide whether to continue with their itineraries accordingly. In addition, the Immigration Department has received distress calls from 12 Hong Kong residents in the affected area and has confirmed their safety.