Published: Wednesday 07 February, 2018

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Taiwan; Buildings Collapse, People Trapped

A strong earthquake has struck Taiwan just before midnight Tuesday. The 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan. Buildings have been severely damaged and dozens of people are reportedly trapped inside.

Taiwan earthquake update

A hotel building leans precariously after being damaged in the Taiwan earthquake. (Twitter photo)

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was traced to about 21 kilometers north-northeast of Hualien City on the East China Sea. It had a depth of about 1 kilometer. No tsunami warning has been issued at this time. A 5.1 magnitude aftershock was felt shortly thereafter.

There have been a number of strong quakes in the area the past days, including a 6.1 magnitude earthquake nearby only last Sunday.

Photos from Hualien show two buildings severely damaged by the earthquake. One is the Marshall Hotel with its bottom two floors collapsed. Taiwan’s Central News Agency said dozens of employees and guest are trapped inside the building.

Another photo shows another hotel leaning precariously, also severely damaged.

Taiwan earthquake February 2018

The Marshal Hotel damaged in the Taiwan earthquake in Hualien. (Sky News photo)

 

“The president (Tsai Ing-wen) has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the disaster mechanism and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” said the presidential office in a statement.

Taiwan lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire which has been very active the past month. There were quakes in Alaska, South America, the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as volcanic eruptions in the central Philippines and Guatemala.