What happened in Taiwan? The country’s natural disaster, explained

What happened in Taiwan? The country’s natural disaster, explained

Taiwan suffered a deadly natural disaster on April 3, 2024, rocking the nation and robbing it of nearly a dozen citizens.

The East Asian country hasn’t experienced a disaster of this magnitude in several decades, and its scrambling to locate its lost and injured masses. As the country reels from the collapse of multiple buildings and fights to save as many people as possible, the world is wondering what we can do to help.

What happened in Taiwan?

Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images

Taiwan experienced a devastating earthquake in the early hours of April 3, followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, all of which did massive damage to areas of the country. The earthquake reportedly hit to the southwest of Hualien City, according to Aljazeera, and led to the collapse of more than 25 buildings. It is the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in 25 years.

Nine people were reported dead by the afternoon of April 3, and those injured number more than 900 in total. Of the buildings that collapsed around the country, 15 were located in Hualien itself, while others were scattered across other prominent cities. The earthquake was even big enough for people in several other countries to feel its aftereffects, and it triggered Tsunami warnings in Japan and the Philippines.

As a result of the massive earthquake, a series of landslides were also set off across Taiwan, resulting in even more injuries. People are still trapped beneath rubble in several cities in Taiwan, and first responders are working hard to get them to safety.

What can you do to help?

There’s not much people can do to help just yet, but various charitable efforts are sure to crop up over the next few days as people seek out ways to lend a hand. Contributing to these will ensure that people get food, water, and shelter as Taiwan grapples with the collapsed buildings and continued fallout from the earthquake, and will aid in finding those who lost their homes new places to live.

In the meantime, several organizations — including the state-side Spirit of America and Taiwan’s Forward Alliance — have been hard at work, for years, trying to help Taiwan prepare for emergencies similar to this one. Spirit of America was formed in hopes of helping “Taiwan and its people protect their democracy” and stand up to China’s efforts at “unification,” but in the process its been teaching citizens “how to respond to and help others in a disaster or emergency.”

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