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Strong  earthquake rocksTaiwan, spurring tsunami warnings across Asia.

The death toll resulting from a significant earthquake in Taiwan on Wednesday has now reached seven, while the number of injuries has risen to 736, as reported by the national fire agency. All fatalities occurred in Hualien county, a mountainous region located along Taiwan’s eastern coast, which was the epicenter of the quake.

Officials have stated that this earthquake is the strongest to have shaken the island in decades and have cautioned about the possibility of more tremors in the coming days. Wu Chien-fu, the director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Center, mentioned that the earthquake was felt throughout Taiwan and offshore islands due to its proximity to land and its shallow depth.

Despite the severity of the quake, Taiwan’s strict building regulations and disaster preparedness measures seem to have prevented a major catastrophe. The island is frequently affected by earthquakes as it is situated near the convergence of two tectonic plates. Wu noted that this earthquake is the most powerful since a 7.6-magnitude quake struck in September 1999, resulting in the deaths of approximately 2,400 individuals, making it the deadliest natural disaster in Taiwan’s history. The magnitude-7.4 quake occurred just before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT), with the epicenter located 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers. Officials confirmed that three individuals from a group of seven who were hiking in the hills surrounding the city were crushed to death by boulders dislodged by the earthquake. Additionally, a truck driver lost his life when his vehicle was struck by a landslide near a tunnel in the area. President Tsai Ing-wen has called for coordination between local and central government agencies and has announced that the national army will provide support. The National Fire Agency has verified the death toll and stated that nearly 60 individuals have received medical treatment for injuries related to the earthquake. Initially, authorities in Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines issued a tsunami warning, but by approximately 10 am (0200 GMT), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre declared that the threat had largely subsided.