Taiwan earthquake kills nine and leaves dozens trapped | First Thing

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years triggered landslides, building collapses and injured at least 800 people. Plus: fighting the stigma of epilepsy in Cameroon

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Good morning.

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan killed nine people and injured at least 800 on Wednesday, causing building collapses, power outages and landslides throughout the island. The quake – Taiwan’s strongest in 25 years – also sparked initial tsunami warnings in southern Japan and the Philippines.

How serious is the tsunami risk in the region? Both Japan and the Philippines lifted their tsunami warnings a few hours after the earthquake hit.

How much worse could it have been? Agence France-Presse reports that strict building regulations and widespread public disaster awareness appear to have staved off a major catastrophe.

Who were the seven international aid workers who were killed? WCK has identified the victims as the Britons John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, who were working for the charity’s security team; the team’s leader, Lalzawmi (Zomi) Frankcom, 43, an Australian national; the American-Canadian dual citizen Jacob Flickinger, 33; the Polish national Damian Sobol, 35; and a Palestinian, Saif Issam Abu Taha, 25.

What has Israel said about the attack? The Israeli military said that an investigation into the attack was under way, and expressed “sincere sorrow” over the deaths.

And Joe Biden? “This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed,” the US president said, criticising Israel for not doing enough to protect aid workers.

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