7.2 magnitude earthquake

The earthquake in Taiwan, 9 dead and over 100 trapped under the ruins

Powerful terms in Taiwan

Photo: Associated Press

(Updated - 13:34) - The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, has reacted after the earthquake that hit the island country of East Asia.

Wednesday's 7.4-magnitude earthquake was the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years. 

At least nine people have died as a result of the earthquake, and more than 800 others have been injured, while search and rescue teams are struggling to pull more than 100 people from the rubble, the BBC reports.

The earthquake had its epicenter about 18 kilometers south-southwest of Hualien and was at a depth of about 35 kilometers.

There were also numerous aftershocks during Wednesday, with one of the aftershocks recorded having a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale and a depth of 11.8 kilometers. 

The country's President Tsai has said that the authorities are ready to face the situation and will work on it together.

Authorities have announced that they had only expected a relatively mild earthquake with a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale and therefore did not issue warnings.

(Updated - 11:55) - The death toll from the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday morning has reached seven, reports the "AP" agency. 

The earthquake was the strongest to hit Taiwan in the past 25 years. 

Taiwan's government announced that 736 people were injured, while the earthquake and aftershocks caused 24 landslides, damaged 35 roads, bridges and tunnels. 77 have remained stranded.  

There have been several other smaller earthquakes, including a 6.5 on the Richter scale. 

The earthquake has triggered a tsunami alert. 

Authorities have said they expected relatively mild earthquakes, measuring 4 on the Richter scale, and have not issued a warning. But the earthquake was strong enough to scare people who are used to such tremors. 

"Earthquakes are common here and I'm used to them. But today, for the first time, I was so afraid of an earthquake," said Hsien-hsuen Keng, a resident of Taipei. "I woke up from the earthquake and I have never felt such a tremor." 

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan on Wednesday morning, damaging buildings and highways and killing at least four people, reports the AP agency. 

It was the most powerful earthquake to hit Taiwan in the past 25 years. 

Taiwan's emergency management agency has announced that four people have died in Hualien and at least 57 have been injured as a result of the earthquake that struck around 8am local time. 

"United Daily News" has reported that three people lost their lives as a result of the landslide in the "Taroko" National Park. 

A five-story building was severely damaged in Hualien. In downtown Taipei, tiles have fallen from old buildings. 

Train services have suspended operations on the island of about 23 million people. 

The worst earthquake to hit Taiwan in recent years occurred on September 21, 1999. The 7.7-magnitude earthquake killed about 2,400 people and injured about 100, while thousands of homes were destroyed. 

Wednesday's earthquake, which the US Seismological Agency said measured 7.2 on the Richter scale, also triggered tsunami warnings. 

The Japan Meteorological Agency said a 30-centimeter tsunami wave was observed off the coast of Yonaguni Island about 15 minutes after the earthquake struck. Smaller waves have been observed on the islands of Ishigaki and Miyako. The earthquake was also felt in the Philippines.