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"They’ll get through this:" Massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Taiwan

Massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Taiwan, triggering tsunami alert
Posted at 10:43 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 02:13:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the eastern side of Taiwan close to 8 a.m. on Wednesday local time, as shown in many jaw-dropping videos on social media.

“I think there was definitely a lot of shock and surprise,” said Dr. Ping Wang, whose family and friends lives near earthquake's epicenter. “It was the largest since 25 years ago. So, there are a lot of rattled nerves.”

Wang, who frequently travels between San Diego and Taiwan, is concerned about his cousin living in Hualien.

“As well as another good friend I literally just had lunch with like two days ago as I left the country. I arrived here in the U.S. just over here over the weekend,” Wang said.

Luckily, Wang said he and his family didn’t have or know of anyone who was hurt in the disaster, although some on the island didn’t know he had left.

“The first indication that I got actually before anything online or anywhere was a notification was, 'Are you okay, are you okay, are you okay? I’m like, 'What happened?'”

ABC 10News spoke with local geologist Dr. Pat Abbott about the earthquake and its impact.

“In this particular earthquake, the main mention is an upward motion,” Abbott said. “That’s the kind of motion kind of movement that can load the water for tsunami. But it’s very tough on buildings and what we’re seeing a number of buildings partially collapse.”

The earthquake prompted Japan to issue a tsunami alert, with a smaller wave hitting an island in southern Japan.

Abbott said aftershocks should be expected after this earthquake, possibly in the five and six range on the richer scale.

“For buildings that have suffered some damage, now they’re weakened and so - the 5.5 for example magnitude aftershock - can cause a lot more damage. They’re definitely not ready to relax there yet,” Abbott said.

“The Taiwanese are very hardy. They’ll get through this. I think they’ll have a good chin up on the whole situation,” Wang said.