May 21, 2024

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Taroko National Park in Taiwan was closed indefinitely after the earthquake

Taroko National Park in Taiwan was closed indefinitely after the earthquake

Kyodo News/Getty Images

A photo taken in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on April 5, 2024, shows fallen rocks on a road leading to Taroko National Park, after a strong earthquake on April 3.


Taipei
CNN

the Taroko National Park In eastern Taiwan, a popular destination for both local and international tourists, it will be closed until further notice, after the island was hit by… The strongest earthquake in 25 years last week.

“All levels of trails and facilities within the Taroko National Park area have been damaged. In order to ensure visitor safety, the park will continue to close all trails and visitor service stations in the park effective today and suspend services,” the park said in a statement.

“During the closure period, the park will continue to carry out road and trail repair work and evaluate the safety of the park. The reopening time after the closure will be announced separately,” the park stated.

The statement added that access permits to protected ecological areas in Yushan, Taroko and Chiba National Parks have now been cancelled, and visitors will need to reapply after the earthquake recovers.

The park's website shows that all 32 trails within the park are closed.

The 920 square kilometers (9,990 sq ft) area was declared a national park for Taiwan in 1986.

Many parts of the Taroko Valley, known for its rugged terrain, steep slopes and stunning views, were severely damaged – including the Nine Turns Tunnel and the Shakadang Track – by rockslides and landslides following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake.

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In an interview with Taiwan's official Central News Agency, Taroko National Park's deputy headquarter director Lin Zhongshan said the Mount Hehuan area, which is partly located within the park, was relatively less affected and would be gradually reopened.

Taroko National Park attracted 3.45 million visitors in 2023, according to statistics provided by the Hualien Tourism Administration.