Hualien earthquake forces suspension of entire Taipei Metro line, factory collapse in New Taipei City leaves three injured

A warehouse collapsed on Liancheng Road in Zhonghe District, New Taipei City.

3rd April 2024 – (Taipei) A powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien on Wednesday morning at approximately 7.58am, triggering intense shaking across multiple areas that lasted for at least one minute. The seismic event resulted in significant damage, including the collapse of a warehouse in the Zhonghe District of New Taipei City, leaving three individuals injured. The impact of the earthquake was also felt in various regions, with noticeable tremors reported in Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shanghai across the strait.

After the earthquake occurred, subway passengers were instructed to disembark from the train.

In response to the disaster, the New Taipei City Fire Department received reports of a collapsed factory warehouse located at 160 Liancheng Road in the Zhonghe District. The five-story building suffered a partial collapse in its rear section, measuring approximately 30 meters long and 20 meters wide on floors one to five. Emergency responders successfully rescued two men and one woman from the scene, providing initial medical treatment on-site. However, there are concerns that a male individual may still be trapped on the third floor. Rescuers are actively conducting search and rescue operations, though the exact location is yet to be determined. In another incident, a wall collapsed on Xinmin Street in the Zhonghe District, fortunately causing no injuries. The New Taipei City government has established a Level 2 disaster response center to coordinate relief efforts.

The earthquake also impacted various areas in Taipei. At a department store in the Dunhua neighbourhood, the glass entrance doors shattered due to the intense shaking. Additionally, in the Neihu District, students attending classes were swiftly evacuated to the school grounds as a precautionary measure. The Taipei Metro system announced a temporary suspension of its entire line following the earthquake. Passengers aboard the trains described the shaking as being so severe that it felt as though the trains were on the verge of derailing. The Taipei Metro authorities stated that operations would be halted for approximately 40 to 60 minutes to conduct thorough safety inspections. No abnormal reports have been received thus far. Furthermore, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail and Taiwan Railways Administration have also announced the suspension of their services, instructing passengers to disembark from the trains.