Singaporeans change travel plans to Taiwan after 7.4 magnitude earthquake

Singaporeans change travel plans to Taiwan after 7.4 magnitude earthquake

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans planning to travel to Taiwan in the coming weeks have had to change their plans following the April 3 earthquake in eastern Taiwan.

In the morning, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake occurred near the eastern city of Hualien. Buildings collapsed and triggered landslides, causing power outages in many areas of the capital, Taipei.

At least nine people were reported dead and more than 900 injured.

The quake was also felt in the Philippines, the southern islands of Japan and as far north as Shanghai, China.

The Philippines and Japan earlier issued tsunami warnings and at least two incoming flights were diverted from Okinawa airports.

Ms Janice Lai, in her 30s, told The Straits Times that she decided to cancel her family’s trip to Taiwan after her assistant alerted her to the earthquake.

“Our helper got the news from her friend who works in Taiwan,” she said.

The business development manager said the trip, originally scheduled for April 11-18, would be the first family vacation to Taiwan for herself, her husband and their two children, ages 2 and 5.

Their itinerary included Taipei, Yilan and Hualien, which are close to the epicenter.

Ms Lai said she had so far been able to recoup some of the $2,500 she spent on accommodation and car rentals, but was unable to get a refund for her air tickets.

Others, including Ms Geraldine who declined to give their surnames, said they would go on holiday to Taiwan in April despite some concerns.

The 28-year-old senior operations assistant said: “This is my first time traveling to a place recently hit by earthquakes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“(I’m) a little worried about whether our Airbnb will still be in Hualien because the area that was hit will be our first destination.”

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