Earthquake with magnitude 6.4 shakes Taiwan, tilts buildings, kills 4

Earthquake with magnitude 6.4 shakes Taiwan, tilts buildings, kills 4

A 6.4 magnitude quake struck Tuesday near the coast of Taiwan, shaking and toppling buildings, and leaving several people feared trapped under the rubble of a hotel, according to local reports and postings on social media. One hotel employee was rescued from the basement and three others remain missing, officials said.

Rescue workers scrambled to search for survivors in buildings left tilting precariously on their foundations in the Taiwanese city of Hualien on February 7, after an overnight quake killed four and injured more than 200.

Most of the death toll from the February 2016 quake was from the 16-storey Wei-kuan apartment complex, which toppled on its side with many of its residents buried in the rubble.

Yesterday, an quake of 6.4-magnitude on Richter scale struck about 20km off the island's east coast near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien.

In Hualien, four buildings have partially collapsed or tilted, including Marshal Hotel and two residential buildings. A number of people were reportedly trapped inside the hotel, the newspaper said.

Rescue workers were also attempting to help two hotel workers now trapped near the main counter at the lobby of the Marshal Hotel, which collapsed when the quake struck, CNA, Taiwan's official news agency said.

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Taiwanese media reported that a separate hotel known as the Beautiful Life Hotel is tilting. Several other buildings were also reported as collapsed.

The quake struck about 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Hualien shortly before midnight (1600 GMT), with its epicenter very shallow at just 1 km, the USGS said. Powerful aftershocks have disrupted rescue efforts.

Firemen search a collapsed building after the natural disaster hit Hualien, Taiwan, late Tuesday night. Residents of the city have been asked to stay indoors and the army has now been called for to aid the rescue operations.

Video footage and photos showed several large buildings leaning at sharp angles.

Hualien is a popular tourist destination on Taiwan's eastern coast and home to about 100,000 people.

A damaged building is seen after an natural disaster hit Hualien, Taiwan February 7, 2018. In 1999 the country was hit by a 7.6 magnitude quake in which more than 2,000 people were killed.

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