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Kiwi Woman Recounts Terrifying Experience Of Taipei Earthquake

7.5 magnitude earthquake in Taipei, Taiwan | Screengrab

Delphine Herbert, a New Zealand woman, was jolted awake on the 16th floor of a Taipei hotel by what she described as "probably the biggest and strongest earthquake I've ever felt." Having just arrived in Taiwan the night before, the earthquake took her by surprise, The New Zealand Herald reported

Herbert, who grew up in earthquake-prone Christchurch, is no stranger to tremors. However, this experience was different. "It was bowling," she said, emphasizing the intensity of the shaking.

Her partner, who was with her and had experienced the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, added to the surreal nature of the situation. "It's pretty crazy having gone through it all and knowing exactly what to expect," Herbert remarked.

The couple had to evacuate their hotel, descending 16 flights of stairs in the high-rise building. Despite feeling two strong aftershocks, they were relieved to find their hotel deemed safe with little damage nearby.

While their hotel and immediate surroundings were relatively unscathed, Herbert noted damage in other parts of Taiwan. This, coupled with the trauma of the experience, has left her contemplating cutting short their planned three-and-a-half-week stay.

"We're just not sure where to go from here now unfortunately," Herbert said, acknowledging the lingering fear and uncertainty.

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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Leaving One Dead and Dozens Injured

Taiwan's fire department has confirmed one fatality and 50 injuries following a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island's east coast. This marks the strongest quake in Taiwan in 25 years, according to Taipei's Seismology Centre, and has triggered tsunami warnings in the region.

Reports from Taiwan indicate that people are trapped under buildings, particularly in the city of Hualien, where structures have collapsed. Witnesses in Taipei have reported power outages and significant damage to buildings.

In response to the disaster, military personnel have been deployed for relief efforts, and schools and workplaces have suspended operations due to ongoing aftershocks. Meanwhile, Japanese authorities have issued an evacuation advisory for coastal areas near Okinawa following the tsunami warning.

Although there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is closely monitoring the situation, as there are 137 registered New Zealanders in Taiwan and 428 in Japan. Kiwis in affected areas are advised to heed local authorities' instructions.

Japan, which also felt the earthquake, experienced a 7.7 magnitude quake according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. A tsunami measuring 0.3 metres has already been reported in southwestern Japan, with waves of up to 3 metres expected.

This event recalls Japan's tragic history with earthquakes, including the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear crisis. Japan remains one of the world's most seismically active areas, experiencing about one-fifth of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

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