Taiwan earthquake injuries surpass 1,000; miners rescued

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Six individuals were rescued by helicopter on Thursday from a mining area stranded after Taiwan’s most severe earthquake in 25 years, while hundreds of aftershocks near the epicenter in the eastern region prompted many to seek refuge outdoors. The quake, with a magnitude of 7.2 that struck offshore on Wednesday, has injured 1,058 people, according to authorities.

Most of the approximately 50 hotel workers trapped on a highway en route to a resort in a national park have been located. However, another 646 individuals remain trapped, mostly in hotels within the park, a popular tourist destination, after the quake severed road access, the fire department reported.

The death toll remains at nine following the quake that hit just as people were preparing for work and school in the rural, sparsely populated Hualien county. Although buildings in Taipei, the capital, also experienced violent shaking, damage and disruption were minimal there.

All individuals trapped in buildings in Hualien, the city hardest hit, have been rescued. Nonetheless, many residents, rattled by over 300 aftershocks, opted to spend the night outside.

“The aftershocks were terrifying,” said Yu, a 52-year-old woman who preferred to provide only her surname. “It’s non-stop. I do not dare to sleep in the house.” Fearing to return to her disordered apartment, Yu slept in a tent at a sports ground repurposed for emergency shelter.

Outside a severely damaged 10-story building in the city, dozens lined up to retrieve their belongings. Wearing helmets and escorted by government officials, each person had 10 minutes to collect valuables, with some choosing to expedite the process by tossing items from windows to the street below.