Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises

  • Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises

Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises

Numerous missing were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, some of which tilted precariously, after the quake struck about 22 km northeast of Hualien on Taiwan's east coast.

Taiwan was struck by the powerful natural disaster just before midnight on Tuesday, damaging buildings in the city of Hualien, killing four people and leaving and some 80 others missing, according to reports. Um, Humankind maybe. But not just men.

A magnitude 7.6 quake in central Taiwan killed more than 2,300 people in 1999.

Exactly two years earlier, on 6 February 2016, a quake of the same magnitude hit the western city of Tainan, collapsing an apartment complex in southern Taiwan and killing 115 people. Their homes had been destroyed or damaged, or they were fearful about the frequent and occasionally strong aftershocks that have regularly jolted the area since the quake.

"We discovered the body of a Chinese woman at the hotel in Yun Tsui (building) earlier this morning and located another person who's a hotel staffer", he said.

"Twenty seconds after the main quake, a large aftershock followed, and I couldn't sleep", he recalled in an interview.

Two strong earthquakes of magnitude 5.3 and 6.1 were recorded within 45 minutes of each other on Sunday night near Hualien. One volunteer, Yang Hsi Hua, told reporters that it was the worst quake the city had ever seen. Smaller tremors rattled residents throughout the day.

On Wednesday a clearer toll emerged: seven dead, ranging in age from 37 to 66, and 67 others missing, officials said.

Aside from the four toppled buildings, however, he said he had not heard of much significant damage, except for the odd wall falling over.

More than 600 soldiers and 1,300 police have been deployed to help with rescue efforts.

Chen Deming, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, said the mainland was willing to assist with relief efforts, including sending teams to the island.

Tsai said she 'ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind'.

Six people were killed in the quake, while 256 others were injured and 76 unaccounted for, according to the fire agency.