7,4 magnitude earthquake

Over 600 people have been left stranded by the earthquake in Taiwan



Photo: Associated Press

Taiwan's National Fire Agency (NFA) has said that 663 people have been trapped as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck the northern county of Hualien Island. 

The death toll from the 7,4-magnitude earthquake is nine, while the number of injured has reached 1,067, according to the agency, CNN reports.

On Wednesday, more than 200 people were in shelters across Hualien County and 10,000 families were without water.

Dozens of people were also trapped in a mine in the region on Wednesday.

More than 40 other aftershocks of magnitude 4 and higher occurred after the powerful earthquake.

The quake, the strongest in 25 years, struck Wednesday morning just as people were getting ready to go to work and school, centered in the largely rural and sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien.

Buildings were also strongly shaken in the capital Taipei, but damage and disruption was minimal.

Wednesday's earthquake is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years.

Over the past 50 years, the island has experienced a total of seven major earthquakes, the last of which was a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in 2006 in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.