NEWS
06/02/2018 17:35 GMT | Updated 07/02/2018 06:28 GMT

Taiwan Earthquake: Four Dead As 6.4 Magnitude Quake Topples Buildings

Around 225 people injured and 145 missing.

Four people have been killed and several buildings have collapsed in Taiwan after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck close to the city of Hualien.

A further 225 people have been injured and 145 more thought to be missing after the quake hit about 14 miles northeast of the city shortly before midnight on Tuesday, and the epicentre was shallow at just 1km.

Among the buildings toppled in the quake was the Marshal Hotel in Hualien, where three people were trapped inside, the government said.

Four other buildings, including two hotels and a military hospital, also tilted during the quake in Hualien, which is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital, Taipei.

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The government said two bridges in the city were either cracked or could not be used due to thequake.

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

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The aftermaths of earth quake are seen in Hua-lien, Taiwan.
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Around 40,000 homes left without water and around 1,900 without power.

Emergency workers surrounded a damaged residential building in the area. Windows had collapsed and the building was wedged into the ground at a 40-degree angle.

Rescuers worked their way around and through the building while residents looked on from behind cordoned-off roads. Others spoke of the panic when the earthquake struck.

“We were still open when it happened,” said Lin Ching-wen, who operates a restaurant near the military hospital.

“I grabbed my wife and children and we ran out and tried to rescue people,” he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s office said in a statement: “The president has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work.”

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck nearby on Sunday.

Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers part of its territory, is prone to earthquakes.

More than 100 were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 1999 earthquake with 7.6 magnitude whose impact was felt across the island and in which more than 2,000 people died.