HUALIEN, Taiwan (Diya TV) — In one of the most powerful seismic events in a quarter-century, Taiwan was rocked by a massive earthquake during the morning rush hour on Wednesday. The quake, which struck just off the coast of rural, mountainous Hualien County, resulted in the loss of nine lives, with over 1,000 individuals reported injured and dozens left stranded at quarries and other locations.

With a magnitude of 7.2 according to Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency, and 7.4 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake caused severe structural damage in Hualien, where some buildings leaned precariously, and their ground floors were crushed. Even in Taipei, over 93 miles away, the quake’s impact was felt as tiles fell from older buildings, prompting school evacuations and rattling residents.

Emergency responders quickly mobilized to the affected areas, rescuing individuals trapped in damaged buildings and stabilizing structures at risk of collapse. However, as darkness fell, the situation remained dire for some, with reports of people spending the night in tents and shelters.

Despite Taiwan’s preparedness for earthquakes, which includes drills and public alerts, the severity of this quake caught many off guard. Hsien-hsuen Keng, a resident of Taipei, expressed her fear, stating, “Today was the first time I was scared to tears by an earthquake.”

The tragic toll of the earthquake included nine fatalities, with three hikers among the victims in rockslides at Taroko National Park. Additionally, over 1,000 individuals were injured, and dozens were initially unaccounted for, including hotel employees stranded in minibuses in the national park.

The earthquake also triggered a tsunami warning, though it was later lifted. Throughout the region, landslides, road damage, and minor structural issues were reported, further complicating rescue and recovery efforts.

Beyond the immediate human impact, there are concerns about the economic fallout of the quake. Taiwan’s vital semiconductor industry, which plays a crucial role in global supply chains, faces potential disruptions due to damage to infrastructure and power outages.

Despite the challenges ahead, Taiwan’s resilience in the face of natural disasters is evident. By noon, normalcy began to return in some areas, with people commuting to work and visiting local attractions, highlighting the island’s ability to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of adversity.