At least 6 dead, more than 50 missing after major Taiwan quake

At least six people have been killed and over 250 injured by the magnitude-6.4 earthquake that hit Taiwan, officials said Wednesday.

Emergency personnel search for people in a damaged building in Hualien, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA
Emergency personnel search for people in a damaged building in Hualien, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA

Tuesday’s quake had a epicenter located in Hualien County and struck at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles. After the main quake, a level 7 intensity was felt in Hualien County for 70 seconds — causing multiple buildings to collapse and trapping people under rubble.

The number of missing continues to drop as rescue work resumed and survivors are pulled from rubble and damaged buildings. At least 51 people are still missing, officials said.

Dozens of aftershocks were reported after the quake Tuesday, as more than 600 military members and 750 firefighters helped to clear damage.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen thanked first responders on Twitter on Tuesday for their “tireless efforts” working day and night to find survivors.

Videos and images from the site of the earthquake show collapsed and tilted buildings. Emergency workers used beams to help prop up the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, a large residential and commercial complex.

Sixteen people are believed to still be trapped in a Bed and Breakfast called the Beauty Inn in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building. Another building, the Marshal Hotel, was flattened in the quake.

Taiwan, located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, routinely experiences relatively minor earthquakes. The country and its populous capital have, however, experienced larger quakes in the past. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan in 1999 and killed more than 2,500 people.

By Sara Shayanian