Videos capture moment earthquake hits Taiwan

The damaged Uranus Building in Hualien (CNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Footage shows the different terrifying moments people experienced as a powerful earthquake hit Taiwan.

The strongest quake in a quarter century struck the East Asian country during rush hour on Wednesday morning.

At least nine people have been killed and more than 900 injured while 128 people are still trapped in the aftermath. 

One clip shows how drivers were rocked back and forth in their cars on a motorway as the ground beneath them swayed from side to side.

In the dashcam footage, people can be seen trying to slow down as they slide across lanes.

In another video, which begins just after the earthquake has struck, a man swimming in a pool is rocked by the water turning ocean-like with waves.

The concrete around the pool gets completely drenched as the water spills out and the lane lines are flung into the air.

Other clips show items falling off of people’s shelves, shaking passengers inside a train and badly damaged structures.

There are also multiple dramatic videos where huge buildings can be seen toppling over or stuck mid-fall at impossible angles.

The quake and aftershocks also caused 24 landslides and damage to 35 roads, bridges and tunnels.

Taiwan's earthquake monitoring agency said the quake was 7.2 magnitude while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.4.

It struck about 11 miles off of Hualien, on Taiwan's east coast, and was about 21 miles deep. Multiple aftershocks followed.

The initial panic after the earthquake quickly faded on the island, which prepares for such events with drills at schools and notices issued via public media and mobile phones.

Stephen Gao, a seismologist and professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology, said Taiwan's readiness is among the most advanced in the world, also featuring strict building codes and a world-class seismological network.

Earthquakes are fairly common for the Taiwanese.

This is because Taiwan lies along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', the line of seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur.

By noon, the metro station in the busy northern Taipei suburb of Beitou was again buzzing with people commuting to jobs and people arriving to visit the hot springs or travel the mountain paths at the base of an extinct volcano.