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Taiwan emerges remarkably unscathed after massive earthquake

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HUALIEN CITY, Taiwan – A massive, 7.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Taiwan Wednesday morning sent bridges swaying and buried mountainous roads in landslides.

“The road below my feet suddenly turned into what felt like waves on water,” said Vincent Tseng, a Hualien resident.

Yet, the day after what was the worst quake to hit the Asian island in a quarter century, most residents cannot stop talking about how much worse it could have been.

As of Thursday local time, authorities say nine people were killed during the quake and just over 1,000 people were injured. Train service through the epicenter was restored within 24 hours.

“It is quite remarkable that given an earthquake of this magnitude, we have seen so few reported causalities,” says Daniel Aldrich, a political science professor at Northeastern University who studies earthquake resilience around the world. “India and Haiti faced less powerful earthquakes but had far more casualties and Taiwan has managed to have so few.”

Continue reading at NPR.

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