By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the coastal city of Hualien in Taiwan Tuesday night which resorted in several buildings including a hotel to collapse. With the skyscrapers shocking residents on the streets below, emergency teams quickly closed off the highway and nearby streets.
Striking the 100,000+ population of Hualien shortly before midnight, took everyone by surprise. There was no immediate confirmation of any deaths or injuries but they knew they had people trapped in colapsing buildings and rubble.
So far, there has not been any tsunami warnings, but the government confirmed early Wednesday morning that the Marshal Hotel in Hualien had collapsed, trapping three people inside.
Emergency teams were also at the seen of another building that had collapsed in Hualien but so far no word as to how many people are trapped.
Four other buildings, including two popular tourist hotels tilted during the earthquake in Hualien which sits roughly 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the capital, Taipei.
The government also confirmed that a military hospital had tilted during the earthquake. Two bridges in the city were either cracked or could not be used at this time. This was not an after shock from the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck nearby on Sunday Feb 4.
“The president has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” President Tsai Ing-wen’s office said in a statement.
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