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Taiwan's Strongest Earthquake in Nearly 25 Years Leaves 934 Injured, at Least 9 Dead

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In Taiwan, the strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years has left at least nine people dead and at least 934 injured.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a 7.4 magnitude. It hit the strongest in the eastern city of Hualien, shaking buildings off their foundations. Some residents had to be rescued out of windows.

About 95 miles away, the capital of Taipei experienced some shaking but no major damage. 

The quake rocked the island during the morning rush hour Wednesday, damaging buildings and highways. 

The initial quake and aftershocks triggered more than 20 landslides causing devastation along 35 roads, bridges, and tunnels.

The quake's epicenter was offshore, some 6 hours from the capital of Taipei, near Hualien County, where a five-story building was left leaning at a 45-degree angle, with its first floor collapsed.  

Vivian Hsiao is a reporter for TVBS Media based in Taipei.
"I was in the office at that time and people were holding on to the doors because everything was falling off. And we wanted to get to the doorways in case something collapsed," Hsiao said.

Television images showed neighbors and rescue workers lifting residents, including a toddler, through windows and onto the street. All appeared to be in shock but without serious injuries.

The Taiwan government says hundreds of people were injured and 77 were stranded. 

"A lot of firefighters are assembling search and rescue teams to help out the more severely damaged places," Hsiao said.

The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for Japan that was later lifted.

Across Taiwan, smaller quakes have kept coming.

"We have already experienced a lot of aftershocks. Within like one and a half hours after the initial earthquake there were 39 aftershocks recorded," Hsiao said.

Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Taiwan, and authorities said they had expected a relatively mild quake of magnitude 4 and did not send out alerts. But the shaking from this quake was strong enough to scare citizens across the island. 

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Since joining CBN News, Dale has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America. Dale also covered China's opening to capitalism in the early 1990s, as well as the Yugoslav Civil War. CBN News awarded him its Command Performance Award for his reporting from Moscow and Sarajevo. Since 9/11, Dale has reported extensively on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe. Follow Dale on Twitter @dalehurd and "like" him at