Belizeans safe after second 6.4 magnitude quake rocks Taiwan

By Marion Ali
Assistant Editor

Belizean students and workers in the Republic of China, Taiwan are all safe after an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Hualien, eastern Taiwan at 11:50 on Tuesday, killing 10 people, injuring more than 260, and toppling buildings like toys.

The Taiwanese Embassy in Belize announced on Thursday that all 136 Belizean students in Taiwan were safe and uninjured, and that it will continue to closely monitor the situation in light of potential aftershocks. The Embassy promised update the Government of Belize if there are new developments in Taiwan.

Eerily coincidental is the fact that this is the second time that an earthquake measuring the same 6.4 magnitude has struck Taiwan on the very same date! In 2016, a 6.4 magnitude temblor rocked northeast of Pingtung City on the southern part of the island on February 6, claiming 117 lives.

Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Lai Ching-te have instructed all government agencies to fully support the rescue efforts and to exhaust all possibilities in the search for seven guests at the Beauty Inn who were still reported missing up to Thursday. Several buildings collapsed during the temblor.

While the search operations were underway late Wednesday, another 5.7-magnitude temblor struck near the port city of Hualien, some 75 miles south of the capital Taipei. Some 200 aftershocks were also felt on Wednesday and Thursday.

Taiwan is no stranger to earthquakes because it sits on the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean, an area known for earthquakes and volcanic activity.

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