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Taiwan hit by strongest earthquake in 25 years

On Wednesday, Taiwan was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the strongest to hit the island in at least 25 years, prompting a tsunami warning for southern Japan and the Philippines, which was later lifted.

According to reports from, among others, Reuters and Nikkei, four people have been killed in the quake and at least 50 have been reported injured.

According to Taiwan's Central Weather Administration, the earthquake was registered off the coast of Hualien on the eastern side of the island. According to the agency's data, this is the strongest earthquake to hit the island since September 1999.

At least 26 buildings have collapsed, more than half of them in Hualien. Power operator Taipower has stated that more than 87,000 households on the island are still without electricity but also stated that the country's two nuclear power plants were not affected by the earthquake.

Semiconductor giant TSMC said in a statement to Nikkei that it had evacuated some of its manufacturing facilities as a precautionary measure.

"Preventative measures were initiated according to procedure and some fabs were evacuated," the company said in a statement. "All personnel are safe, and those evacuated are beginning to return to their workplaces. The company is currently confirming the details of the impact."

TSMC added that they had decided to suspend work at the construction sites for their new facilities today, and that work would resume following further inspections.

United Microelectronics' CFO Liu Chitong told Nikkei Asia that they had also evacuated their production facilities.  "Some chipmaking machines did stop and now our team is working to restart the production machines as soon as possible." 

Display manufacturers Innolux and AUO have reportedly also evacuated their facilities.

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July 23 2024 1:29 am V22.5.13-1