Magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Taiwan felt by around 100 Hong Kong residents, unharmed travel groups totalling over 300 HK tourists

2060

3rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) According to the Hong Kong Observatory, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan at 7.58am today. The epicentre was located approximately 15 kilometres south-southeast of Hualian, around 790 kilometres east-northeast of Hong Kong, with a focal depth of about 10 kilometres.

The Hong Kong Observatory received numerous reports of the earthquake being felt locally by around 100 residents, with the tremors lasting only a few seconds. Initial assessments on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale indicate a local intensity of III (three), which suggests that the tremors were felt indoors and resembled the vibration caused by the passing of light trucks.

In a surprising turn of events, this seismic activity caught many Hong Kong residents off guard, as they had taken the opportunity during the Easter break to embark on long-term overseas trips. Taiwan, including Hualian, has been a popular destination among Hong Kong travelers. However, travel agencies in Hong Kong assured that their tour groups in Taiwan were safe and sound, and their future itineraries would depend on the evolving situation.

CN Yuen, Executive Director of EGL Tours, revealed that one of their tour groups was in Hualian at the time of the earthquake. According to the tour leader’s report, the tremors were felt at 8am while the group was inside their hotel. The hotel experienced a temporary power outage following the earthquake, but all members of the tour group remained unharmed. The original plan was to leave the hotel, but the decision to proceed with the itinerary would be based on the assessment of the local conditions and attractions.

Similarly, EGL Tours confirmed that they had a total of 11 tour groups comprising approximately 300 individuals in various parts of Taiwan, including the Hualian area. The travel agency assured that all members of these groups were safe and there was no need for undue concern. They would closely monitor the post-earthquake situation in the region before making any decisions regarding the continuation of the tours. Furthermore, EGL Tours also disclosed that they had a cruise tour in Japan, originally scheduled to dock at Ishigaki Island in Okinawa today. While the safety of the cruise members was ensured, the status of the port remained uncertain, and arrangements were being made accordingly.