Taiwan Earthquake: 6.5 magnitude tremors kill 2, over 100 injured

Marsha Scott
February 8, 2018

Seven people were killed and 260 were injured as of 10:00 p.m. Wednesday after a magnitude 6.5 quake hit Taiwan.

Most of the missing were trapped in a large building with both businesses and apartments in downtown Hualien.

Emergency responders have rescued about 150 people from hotels and residential buildings that have partially collapsed in the city of Hualien.

About 400 rescue workers scrambled to locate people, and a crane was brought in to help, footage from CNN affiliate SET TV showed. "Then it sunk and tilted further and the fourth floor became the first floor", one local resident, who was nearby when the main natural disaster struck overnight Tuesday, told Agence France-Presse.

Sadly, across the strait in Taiwan, at least four people are dead and hundreds more injured after last night's violent quake.

More than 90 weaker earthquakes were measured along Taiwan's east coast in the week before Tuesday's quake, the Central Weather Bureau reported.

Tsai said she telephoned Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) at about 2am yesterday to ask whether he had any specific requests of the central government to aid disaster relief efforts, while emphasizing that the central government is prepared to offer the county any assistance required.

Hualien prosecutors said they had launched an investigation.

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President Tsai Ing-wen moved to reassure the Taiwanese public that every effort would be made to look for survivors.

Each stage of the rescue effort has a different emphasis, with the first focused on rescuing, accommodating and hospitalizing victims; the second on ensuring a steady water supply and ascertaining whether underground gas pipelines and cables have ruptured to prevent further casualties; and the third on ensuring the integrity of roads and bridges in the region, Lai said. "Rescue operations have been continuing night & day". "Right now 145 people remain unaccounted for - we will not rest until all are found".

Government officials are seeking building records and said they would question companies in the buildings' planning and construction.

Hsu Kuo-Yung said the railway department hasn't given a full status report of the damage yet but he said it seems the railways have not been damaged much.

The lower basement and ground floor of the 10-storey Marshal Hotel gave way after the quake.

While earthquakes are common in the area, the geology makes it rare to have many quakes in short succession, Chen said. "Those living in [eastern Guangdong's] Chaozhou felt it". "Nerves are jangled, but otherwise all appears well".

"Nothing broken, and two children slept peacefully through the event".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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