June 2, 2013 – Taiwan Quake Kills Two and Injures 80: Two people were killed, one was reported missing, and more than 80 were injured as of Sunday evening after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Taiwan earlier in the day, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center. Note: The USGS originally reported the magnitude of this quake at 6.5, however, later it was downgraded to 6.2.
Update June 3, 2013: The death toll was raised from two to four. Of the 80 people that were injured, 19 were serious.
A male tourist, identified as Liu Chin-lu, who was with a group of seven other people, was killed in Alishan, Chiayi County by falling rocks during the quake, which hit at 1:43 p.m. His body was taken to the Chiayi branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital. In Nantou County, another man, identified only by his surname Hsiao, was also killed by falling rocks, when he visited a mountainous area to inspect water supply to his agricultural field, according to the county’s fire department. Also in Chiayi, a woman driving a car was hit on the side of the head by falling rocks and lost consciousness, the center said. She was taken to the Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital in Dalin Township.
In the mountainous township of Jhushan in Nantou County, a visitor sustained injuries to the head and multiple fractures when a road collapsed near a scenic area famous for a suspension bridge known as the “Ladder to Heaven.” More than 300 tourists were trapped in the area until after 5 p.m. when military personnel came to the rescue and helped reopen traffic.
Also in Jhushan, an angler was reportedly buried under mudslide near a waterfall and remained missing as of 8 p.m, while another angler lost consciousness and was airlifted by a National Airborne Service Corps helicopter and taken to a nearby hospital.
The quake, the biggest one recorded in Taiwan this year, left at least 79 other people with non-life threatening injuries in the counties of Nantou, Chiayi and Yunlin. Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said President Ma Ying-jeou instructed related agencies to keep an eye on damage caused by the earthquake and urged the public to be vigilant and guard against aftershocks.
Some damage was reported throughout Taiwan, mostly in the central and southern regions, including broken water pipes, damaged tiles and cracked walls and gas leaks. In the Southern Taiwan Science Park, several machines in United Microelectronics Corp.’s facility shut down, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. evacuated its employees in its 14th wafer foundry as a precaution.
The earthquake was centered 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Nantou County Hall at a depth of 10 km, the Central Weather Bureau said on its website. The strongest intensity was in Tsaoling, Yunlin County, where it was recorded at 6, according to the bureau. The temblor was felt in most parts of Taiwan, with Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Alishan, Tainan and Dadu in Taichung recording an intensity of 5, the bureau’s website showed. In most parts of northern Taiwan, the quake was felt at an intensity of 3, it said. (Credits – RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service Budapest, Hungary).
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