Devastating Earthquake Hits Taiwan, Travel Largely Unaffected

A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, causing significant damage in the eastern region. The 7.2-magnitude quake, the strongest in nearly 25 years, resulted in several deaths, injuries, and trapped individuals. Rescue efforts are ongoing, particularly in Hualien County, the epicenter.



Travel Update:

Despite the quake's severity, travel to and from Taiwan remains mostly unaffected. Here's a breakdown:

  • Major disruptions: Hualien County, especially the coastal areas and Taroko National Park, has sustained significant damage. Road closures, landslides, and aftershocks pose safety risks. Travelers should avoid this region for now. Most hotels in Hualien offer free cancellations.
  • Minimal disruptions: Major airports, ports, and railways in major cities like Taipei are operational. Travel on the west coast remains safe. However, transportation between Hualien and Yilan might be affected.
  • Flight updates: Major airlines like United Airlines, EVA Air, and UNI Air haven't reported disruptions. UNI Air even added extra flights to Hualien to support rescue efforts.
  • Taiwan Tourism Bureau: They advise travelers to remain flexible, monitor the situation, and adjust plans accordingly.
  • Tour operators: Some operators, like Intrepid Travel, have canceled upcoming tours to Hualien to prioritize safety.

Safety Tips:

  • If you have an upcoming trip to Taiwan, especially the eastern region, consider postponing it until at least April 5th to avoid aftershocks.
  • Stay informed about the situation in your specific destination and adjust plans as needed.
  • Be aware of potential aftershocks, which could be significant.

How to Help:

While Taiwan requests well-wishes from the world, monetary donations are also welcome. Here are some NGOs you can support:

  • Taiwan Foundation for Disaster Relief ([link for Taiwan Foundation for Disaster Relief ON Taiwan Foundation for Disaster Relief])
  • Taiwan's Red Cross Society ([link for Taiwan Red Cross Society ON])
  • Peace Winds America's Taiwan Disaster Preparedness Initiative ([link for Peace Winds America's Taiwan Disaster Preparedness Initiative ON])

For the latest updates, refer to the Taiwan Tourism Administration or your travel agency.