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Earthquake hits Taiwan: 4 killed, 145 missing
Posted on: 07-02-2018 , 12:48:PM | DY365 Bureau

 picture courtesy: ABC News

 February 7, 2018: Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, some using their hands as they searched for about 145 people missing after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien overnight. 

At least four people were killed when the shallow and powerful quake caused at least four buildings, including a hotel, to cave in and tilt dangerously on the country’s east coast. Around 225 were injured and at least 145 people were missing.   

Video footage and photos showed several midsised buildings leaning at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, shattered glass, bent iron beams and other debris. Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments.

The National Fire Agency said the force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.

The quake struck about 22 kms (14 miles) northeast of Hualien - which is home to about 100,000 people - shortly before midnight, and the epicentre was very shallow at just 1km, the USGS said.

The fire agency said most of the 173 people who could not be reached might be in the Yunmen Cuiti building, a 12-story apartment building, though it said it did not immediately have an estimate of how many were trapped.

"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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