TAIWAN: Major Quake Collapses Buildings in Hualien

Taiwan earthquake

Taiwan earthquake

A magnitude-6.4 quake has struck near the coastal city of Hualien in Taiwan, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says, leaving two people dead, more than 100 injured and causing buildings including a hotel to collapse.

The quake struck late Tuesday 13.3 miles northeast of Hualien on the island's east coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The national fire agency said at least four buildings had fallen or been damaged, with televison footage showing roads strewn with rubble and cracks in highways.

Some 88 soldiers were helping the local fire service respond at the hotel, and another 250 were on standby to help. In 2016, a shallow natural disaster in southern Taiwan killed at least two dozen people.

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The building is believed to be the Marshal Hotel, which has 300 rooms.

People have been trapped in a hotel that has partially collapsed, the reports say.

There are no reports of casualties as yet.

The tremor struck at 23:50 (15:50 GMT) about 20km (12 miles) off the island's east coast.

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Taiwan's premier says two people were killed and more than 140 were injured in the quake. At least three people remain trapped.

A woman leaves the damaged Marshal Hotel in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, after a strong quake.

Tuesday was the second anniversary of a 6.4-magnitude quake that struck northeast of Pingtung City in southern Taiwan, killing 117 people.

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