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At least six killed, 60 missing after quake rocks Taiwan tourist area


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 8 February 2018 00:00

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HUALIEN, Taiwan (Reuters) - Rescuers combed the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, in a search for about 60 people missing after a strong earthquake killed at least six near Taiwan’s popular tourist city of Hualien.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, also injured 258 people and collapsed four buildings, officials said.

Hualien Mayor Fu Kun-chi said the number of people missing was now close to 60, although an exact figure was not provided. As many as 150 were initially feared missing.  Many of the missing were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, some of which were tilting precariously, after the quake hit about 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast. Two people stranded in the Marshal Hotel were alive and had responded to rescue teams, although their location was difficult to reach, the government said.

The injured included mainland Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean nationals.

Aftershocks with a magnitude of at least 5.0 could rock the island in the next two weeks, the government said. Smaller tremors rattled nervous residents throughout the day.

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.

 


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