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A magnitude-6.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan on Tuesday, damaging buildings and roads, authorities said.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 13 miles north-northeast of Hualien, a city of more than 100,000 on Taiwan’s east coast. Photos and videos posted on social media show damaged roads and high-rise buildings.
Several buildings leaned drastically, collapsed or had their first floor crushed, the state-owned Focus Taiwan News Channel reported.
Military spokesman Chen Chung-chi told the news channel that 88 military members had been dispatched to aid the rescue missions, with 250 more expected to be sent soon.
The quake, at a depth of less than six miles, came two days after another strong temblor struck off Taiwan’s east coast.
Earthquakes are a fairly common occurrence in Taiwan, which sits on the boundary of two tectonic plates — the Philippine Sea Plate to the East and the Eurasian Plate.
The earthquake could be felt across Taiwan, Focus Taiwan News Channel reported
SHALLOW 6.4 STRIKES TAIWAN
A hotel has collapsed after a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked eastern Taiwan late Tuesday, US geologists said, the latest in a string of quakes to have hit the region in recent days.
The quake hit at 23:50 pm (1550 GMT) around 21 kilometres (13 miles) northeast of the port city Hualien, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The government confirmed that a hotel had collapsed, but no further details were immediately available. Emergency services are working to free anyone trapped inside the building, media reports said.
The island’s weather bureau recorded the quake as 6.0-magnitude.
On Sunday, another five shallow tremors struck within two hours of each other in the same area off Taiwan’s east coast.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
The island’s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
More to follow…
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