A shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan has struck the eastern city of Hualien, killing at least two people and injuring more than 100.
Video source: theguardian.com
The Central News Agency reported that the ground floor of the Marshal hotel in Hualien had caved in and people were believed to be trapped inside.
Photographs posted on social media showed the hotel appearing to lean sharply to one side.
Another hotel, known as the Beautiful Life hotel, was also reported to have been damaged.
“Two people were unfortunately killed, and 114 have suffered light or severe injuries,” Taiwan’s premier, William Lai, told an emergency government meeting.
A number of aftershocks hit the area, but there was no word of any tsunami warning.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes, with the quake on Tuesday the latest in a string to have hit the region in recent days.
The fire agency said at least four buildings had toppled or been damaged, with television images showing roads strewn with rubble and cracks in highways.
Hualien is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist hubs, a port city that lies on the picturesque east coast rail line, close to the popular Taroko gorge.
Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, said rescuers from around the island were preparing to help.
“We will get into disaster relief work at the fastest speed,” she said in a post on her Facebook page.
One Facebook livestream showed rescuers at the foot of the darkened Marshal hotel, and a crane carrying them up to the higher floors, which were leaning at an angle.
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