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Taiwan rocked by 7.4 magnitude earthquake, leaving at least 9 dead and nearly 1,000 injured. What to know.

The strongest quake to hit the island in 25 years left dozens of others trapped.

A building in Hualien, Taiwan, partially collapsed after a powerful earthquake hit the island on Wednesday. (VCG via Getty Images)
A building in Hualien, Taiwan, partially collapsed after a powerful earthquake hit the island on Wednesday. (VCG via Getty Images)

A strong earthquake rocked Taiwan early Wednesday, toppling buildings and leaving at least nine dead, dozens of others trapped and nearly 1,000 people injured, officials there say.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island in 25 years, damaging buildings, causing landslides and knocking out power for thousands of people.

📍 When and where did the earthquake strike?

A map showing Taiwan in relation to China.
Yasin Demirci/Anadolu via Getty Images

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered about 15 miles south of Hualien City and struck just before 8 a.m. local time. It triggered a tsunami warning and was followed by at least 76 aftershocks in less than five hours, according to Taiwanese officials.

People are accustomed to regular quakes in Taiwan, which according to the Associated Press has some of the world’s most advanced preparedness systems. “But authorities said they had expected a relatively mild earthquake and accordingly did not send out alerts,” the AP reported. “The eventual temblor was strong enough to scare even people who are used to such shaking.”

🔎 What was damaged?

Two buildings and a major highway in Hualien, a city on Taiwan’s eastern coast, saw extensive damage. A 10-story residential and commercial building in Hualien, called the Uranus Building, partially collapsed. Many of its residents managed to escape, but others were feared missing.

One video shared widely on social media showed the building leaning to one side, stunning onlookers.

Other videos showed cars and buses swaying on a highway during the morning rush hour, and drivers coming to a halt on a trembling roadway.

Television footage showed people, including a toddler, climbing through windows of another partially collapsed building as rescue workers raced to evacuate it.

↘ What is the official death toll?

Members of a search and rescue team huddle outside of a leaning building in Hualien City.
Members of a search and rescue team huddle outside of a leaning building in Hualien, Taiwan, on Wednesday. (National Fire Agency via AP)

According to Taiwan’s fire department, the death toll from Wednesday’s quake stands at 9, while 70 people, all in Hualien County, remain trapped. At least 963 others were injured, fire officials said.

Rescue workers search for survivors under a collapsed building in Hualien City.
Rescue workers search for survivors under a collapsed building in Hualien City following Wednesday's earthquake. (Kaohsiung Fire Department/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Among those killed were three hikers, who were hit by falling rocks on a trail in Taroko National Park. The AP reported that a van driver died in the same area when boulders from a rockslide triggered by the quake hit the vehicle.

The fire department said 64 people were trapped in one rock quarry, and six in another.

A  heavily damaged car.
A car was heavily damaged by falling rocks from a landslide in Taichung, Taiwan, on Wednesday. (Guguan Public Works Section/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The wreckage of a printing company factory that collapsed in New Taipei.
The wreckage of a printing company factory that collapsed in New Taipei, Taiwan, following Wednesday's earthquake. (Daniel Ceng/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A rescue worker stands near the cordoned off site of a leaning building in the aftermath of the earthquake in Hualien City.
A rescue worker stands down the street from a partially collapsed building in Hualien City on Wednesday night. (Johnson Lai/AP)

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Cover thumbnail: VCG via Getty Images.