Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises to nine, 62 missing


Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises to nine, 62 missing

HUALIEN, Taiwan - Rescuers in Taiwan searched badly damaged buildings Thursday looking for scores of people missing after a powerful natural disaster hit the island's east coast.

More than 90 weaker earthquakes were measured along Taiwan's east coast in the week before Tuesday's quake, the Central Weather Bureau reported. Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments.

Rescue efforts are underway in the city as emergency workers and volunteers work to shift rubble and search for trapped people. The pattern of seismic activity that followed was stronger than anything that had previously been recorded in the area, Chen Kuo-chang, the acting director of the Central Weather Bureau's Seismology Center, told the Central News Agency. It was really scary'. One person was killed there and two were missing, officials said.

Rescuers save a dog from inside a damaged hotel after the quake. The number of missing was revised from 88.

Fourteen Koreans are among the injured, according to the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry. CNA reported that 16 foreigners were sent to various hospitals with injuries.

Hualien residents are used to earthquakes and typhoons, Fan said, but this time was different.

President Tsai Ing-wen reassured the public every effort would be made to rescue survivors.

"We can only pray that she is safe", he said. "The government will work with everyone to guard their homeland".

In a television interview, MECO chair Lito Banayo said the initial onsite report of Chavez was that authorities were still searching the area where the Filipina caretaker was working.

HUALIEN, Taiwan-Workers placed steel beams to stabilize a dangerously tilted building while rescuers on the other side try to pull survivors from their residences Thursday morning, more than a day after a deadly quake shook Taiwan's east coast.

Bridges and highways remain closed pending inspections as the force of the tremors twisted roads and many have damaged bridge foundations.

With aftershocks continuing to hit after the quake, residents were directed to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium, where beds and hot food were provided. However, Hualien's airport runway was intact and rail links appear to be unaffected.

"We're putting a priority on Hualien people being able to return home to check on their loved ones", Hsu said.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, injured 260 people and caused four buildings to collapse, officials said.

A giant four-star hotel has collapsed after a massive 6.4 hit Taiwan, reports.

Emergency workers surrounded a badly damaged 12-storey residential building, a major focus of the rescue effort.



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