TSMC’s evacuated workers return to some factories after Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years

An aerial view shows workers taking down a collapsed building in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien county following an earthquake/

Sam Yeh | Afp | Getty Images

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co said all its workers were safe and those who were evacuated have started returning to some factory lines after a major earthquake hit Taiwan early Wednesday.

The island was rocked by a massive earthquake that collapsed buildings and prompted tsunami advisories from Japan and the Philippines. Officials said at least four people have died.

A TSMC spokesperson said construction sites were normal upon initial inspection, but the company decided to suspend work at the sites for the day. The person said work will resume after further inspections and that TSMC is still evaluating details of the earthquake’s impact.

Earlier, the chipmaker said it evacuated some personnel from some fabs in accordance with company safety protocols.

Shares of TSMC fell 1%. The broader Taiwan Weighted Index was down 0.9%. TSMC is the biggest company on the index, with a market cap of $639.65 billion.

Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation said in a statement that it checked its computers and network systems following the earthquake and confirmed they all are operating normally.

The earthquake registered a magnitude of 7.4 in Hualien County, the island’s biggest quake since 1999, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Tremors were felt in the capital city of Taipei.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued tsunami advisories for some of the country’s southern islands and regions, but later removed those designations. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology also raised a tsunami warning in the country following the Taiwan quake.

Flights schedules were disrupted in Japan, with some Japan Airlines flights canceled following the earthquake in Taiwan. Shares of Japan Airlines were up 0.7%.

Another Japanese carrier, ANA Holdings, temporarily suspended flights from Okinawa Naha, Miyako, and Ishigaki Airports earlier in the day. The company has now resumed operations but said some flights have been delayed or canceled. Shares of the company were flat.

— CNBC’s Penny Chen contributed to this story.

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