Rescuers are combing through the rubble of collapsed buildings, some using their hands as they search for about 145 people missing after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien on Tuesday night.
At least four people were killed and 225 injured in the quake that hit near the coastal city just before midnight on Tuesday, officials said. The latest figures from government data indicate 145 people are missing.
Many of those were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, including a military hospital, after the quake hit about 22 km northeast of Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast.
Aftershocks with a magnitude of at least 5.0 could rock the island in the next two weeks, the government said. Japanese, Czech and mainland Chinese nationals were among the injured.
Residents waited and watched anxiously as emergency workers dressed in fluorescent orange and red suits and wearing helmets searched for residents trapped in apartment blocks.
Hualien is home to about 100,000 people. Its streets were buckled by the force of the quake, with around 40,000 homes left without water and around 1900 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.
“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.”
A Reuters video showed large cracks in the road, while police and emergency services tried to help anxious people roaming the streets.
President Tsai Ing-wen went to the scene of the quake early on Wednesday to help direct rescue operations.
Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers part of its territory, lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck nearby on Sunday.
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Posted by 吳品儀 on Tuesday, February 6, 2018