Major chip, display facilities in Taiwan evacuated after massive earthquake

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Semiconductor and display plants, including world’s largest chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), were evacuated after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked Taiwan on Wednesday morning.

Tech companies in the country were assessing the impact as a powerful earthquake off the coast of Hualien that jolted the country and killed at least nine people, reports Nikkei Asia.

“Preventative measures were initiated according to procedure and some fabs were evacuated. All personnel are safe, and those evacuated are beginning to return to their workplaces. The company is currently confirming the details of the impact,” TSMC was quoted as saying in the report.

TSMC “decided to suspend work at construction sites (for new facilities) for today and the work will resume following further inspections.”

United Microelectronics was quoted as saying that it also evacuated production facilities.

“Some chip-making machines did stop and now our team is working to restart the production machines as soon as possible,” the company said.

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Display makers Innolux and AUO also evacuated people from their facilities.

In Tainan, which is home to leading chip fabrication facilities, the impact initially appeared to be milder, the report mentioned.

Some Japanese firms with operations in Taiwan reported minor damage, including chipmaking equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron and Ebara.

According to local media reports, strong tremors were felt in various parts of Taiwan, prompting Taipei’s metro system to halt operations.

The earthquake was followed by aftershocks.

–IANS

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