At least 4 dead in Taiwan earthquake, 145 missing

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HUALIEN, Taiwan — Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, some using their hands as they searched for about 145 people missing after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien overnight.

At least four people were killed and 225 injured in the quake that hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, officials said. The latest figures from government data indicated 145 people were missing.

Many of those were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, including a military hospital, after the quake hit about 22 km (14 miles) 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 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.




Image: At leat two dead, nearly 200 injured after Magnitude 6 quake hit Hualien, eastern Taiwan

Rescue services search for people in a damaged building on February 7, 2018 in Hualien, eastern Taiwan.