China - Taiwan Province

China - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2002/0077
China - Earthquake
31 March 2002
1. At 2:52 p.m. on March 31 2002, local time (or 6:52 a.m. on March 31 2002, GMT), a strong earthquake occurred near Hualien, 100 kilometres (65 miles) southeast of Taipei (latitude 24.4 degrees north, longitude 122.2 degrees east). According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.

2. The tremors were felt across the island. In Taipei, buildings rocked back and forth, and startled people ran out of homes and churches. Local media have reported three buildings collapsed or partially collapsed. Taipei's subway has been shut down after a water pipe at one station broke. Water and gas pipes were also ruptured around the city. Local media also reported four people dead, more than 200 injured. Many people have been reported missing in several collapsed buildings across the city of Taipei.

3. In response to the earthquake, the city government mobilized soldiers and firefighters to carry out rescue work.

4. OCHA has not received any request for international assistance.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is closely monitoring the situation. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-91712 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. R. M=FCller / Ms. S. Desouza / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 3131 / 1636 / 4034

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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