Everything That is Known About the 3 April Taiwan Earthquake So Far

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast this morning (3 April 2024).

As of the latest update at 5:26pm, it’s reported that there are 7 fatalities and over 700 injuries following the earthquake, deemed to be the most powerful to strike Taiwan in at least 25 years.

The quake was felt as far away as Shanghai, and Chinese state media reported sensations in cities of Fujian province.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has offered disaster relief assistance.

Impact of the Earthquake

According to Wu Chien-fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre, “The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It was felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands.”

The earthquake occurred at 7:58 am local time (the same as Singapore) with a depth of 15.5km off Taiwan’s eastern coast, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration. It caused significant structural damage in Hualien County, near the epicenter, including buildings shifting from their foundations.

Following the quake, Japan’s weather agency detected small tsunami waves in Okinawa, initially issuing a warning that was later downgraded to an advisory and eventually lifted.

However, Naha airport in Okinawa suspended flights, with incoming flights being diverted.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirmed the tsunami threat had passed, and the Philippines canceled its tsunami warning, retracting earlier evacuation orders for coastal areas.

In Taipei, at least 25 aftershocks were felt, with the China Earthquake Networks Center recording five magnitude 5 aftershocks in Taiwan within an hour of the initial quake.

Despite these aftershocks, Taipei’s city government reported no damage, and the city’s MRT resumed operations quickly. However, Taipower noted that over 87,000 households in Taiwan were without electricity.

Taiwan’s high-speed rail reported no damage or injuries but expected delays due to inspections.

There were also images of buildings collapsing and bridges shaking being shared on social media.

The Southern Taiwan Science Park, housing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), stated operations continued without impact. TSMC assured that its safety systems functioned normally but evacuated some facilities as a precaution, assessing the event’s impact.

TSMC is a major semiconductor manufacturer, not just for Taiwan but for the entire world. Given that almost all our devices require semiconductors (i.e., chips), any impact on its factory would have serious repercussions.