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Two Canadians stranded by Taiwan earthquake, fire agency says | Radio-Canada News

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Taiwan firefighters said two Canadians were among a group of people trapped by rockslides in a gorge after the island’s strongest earthquake in 25 years.

The agency said in a Facebook post that the Canadians were among 12 people stranded on a trail in Taroko National Park, a popular hiking destination, and that rescue efforts were underway.

Other earthquake-affected Canadians describe scenes of chaos and violent shaking that moved furniture and nearly knocked people over when the tremor struck during Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

Charlie Wu, a Vancouver-based community events organizer, says his 12th-floor rented apartment in the Taiwanese capital Taipei shook for “what seemed like minutes,” knocking bottles and plates out of their closed cabinets .

Yvonne Chen, a tech company employee who splits her time between Burnaby, British Columbia, and Taipei, says tremors in her 10th floor apartment moved a large cabinet 15 centimeters from its base and she had to crouch down to avoid falling.

WATCH | Magnitude 7.4 earthquake, the most powerful in Taiwan in a quarter of a century:

Damage caused by Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years | About that

The deadly 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday was the most powerful the country has seen in a quarter of a century. Andrew Chang examines the extent of the damage and the rescue efforts to reach those trapped and missing.

Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operations Center said the quake, centered in Hualien County, about 150 kilometers south of Taipei, reached a magnitude of 7.2, killing at least nine people, injuring 946 and 152 blocked.

Global Affairs Canada says in a statement that any Canadian in need of assistance should contact them immediately, adding that there are 5,518 Canadian citizens registered in Taiwan.

Wu says the main quake was followed by a number of aftershocks in the hours that followed.

“It’s like getting off a cruise ship,” Wu says of his mental state after the earthquake. “There’s this feeling that you’re not really grounded. It’s like everything is moving and you’re looking at the curtain (to see) if it’s moving or if it’s just you in your head, moving .

Building tilts after earthquake
In this image taken from video footage broadcast by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (TVSB/Associated Press)

“I still feel occasional aftershocks, quick and much smaller than they were this morning. But, again, when you were at the top of the 12th floor, it’s easily felt, and I don’t know if I’ I’ll be able to sleep well with this feeling in my head.”

Chen said the earthquake was light at first and she continued getting ready for work until the shaking became more powerful.

“I got to the point where I couldn’t stand and had to squat down,” she said, estimating the shaking lasted about a minute.

Chen and Wu say the tremors were comparable to the 7.3-magnitude 1999 Taiwan earthquake, which killed more than 2,400 people and destroyed about 52,000 buildings.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada had contacted Taiwanese officials and was ready to provide support if necessary.

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