Taiwan quake: Death toll rises, 7 left missing

Taiwan quake: Death toll rises, 7 left missing

Taiwan quake: Death toll rises, 7 left missing

Council officials said the foundation had passed on the information about the people killed to its mainland counterpart, the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (Arats).

SEARCHING FOR LIFE Rescue workers walk out from the Yun Tsui building, which is leaning at a precarious angle, in the Taiwanese city of Hualien on Thursday after the city was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake late Tuesday.

"The building's structure is still relatively stable", National Fire Agency Director-General Chen Wen-lung (陳文龍) said.

Hualien is one of Taiwan's most popular tourist hubs as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and near the popular Taroko Gorge. Rescuers said five other mainland tourists are still trapped in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building, including four adults and one child.

At least four people were killed and 247 injured in the quake, while 82 were unaccounted for.

Another strong natural disaster measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale had struck off the coast of Hualien on Sunday. All of them were staying at the Beautiful Stay motel which was part of a residential tower block that collapsed, the Central Emergency Operation Centre said.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his country was dispatching a rescue team to help in the search effort.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says nine Japanese are among the more than 200 people who were injured in a strong quake that struck near Taiwan's east coast and killed four people. She also visited an evacuation shelter and talked to evacuees.

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Taiwan's central government on Thursday declined disaster relief aid from China and other countries, with the exception of Japan, in the wake of a magnitude 6.0 quake which struck Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday, causing loss of life and serious property damage.

A rescue worker says a crew is trying to free two people from a hotel whose ground floor caved after a strong quake hit near Taiwan's eastern coast.

The seven people still missing are five mainland Chinese from the same family, including a 12-year-old boy, and a Hong Kong couple with Canadian citizenship.

Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS said Wednesday that a rescue operation was underway at the Marshal Hotel.

Most of those who perished died in a single apartment block which collapsed.

The agency says 219 people were injured, two dozen of them critically, in Hualien county. The quake also buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.

The quake had struck at a depth of around 23 km.

With aftershocks continuing, shell-shocked residents were being directed Tuesday to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium where beds and hot food were being provided.

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