Demolition of earthquake-struck tower progresses

Emergency demolition works to take down a 10-storey building damaged by the recent earthquake in Hualien City, Taiwan, have continued in earnest over the past few days, and are now expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

The structure, known as the Uranus building, was left teetering precariously to one side after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast city on April 3. 

Hualien Construction Department Director, Teng Tzu-yu, said that the emergency operation was being carried out using a top-down deconstruction methodology. 

“The lower the floor, the faster the demolition progresses,” Teng explained.

Demolition efforts to safely bring down the building began last Sunday (April 7) evening, just a few days after the earthquake struck.

Leaning over, the Uranus building in Taiwan (PHOTO: TVBS, Reuters)

In an around-the-clock operation that involved multiple pieces of demolition machinery, the emergency response teams first installed six steel beams to support the 10-storey structure against further aftershocks.

By daylight on Monday 8 April, the front of the ninth floor had been demolished, necessitating the removal of one support beam, said Teng.

The 7.2 magnitude quake that hit Hualien City was the biggest seismic event the region had seen in over 25 years.

Local media outlets have reported 13 people were killed in the disaster, with around 1,140 more individuals injured and six people still missing.

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