TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two people have lost their lives, 177 are missing and 219 have been injured by a powerful and shallow magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County last night (Feb. 7) at 11:50 p.m.
After the magnitude 6.0 quake struck 18.3 kilometers northeast of Hualien County hall at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers, an intensity level of 7 was felt in Hualien County for a full 70 seconds, causing multiple buildings to collapse, trapping many inside as they slept. Of the 177 missing, 147 people are trapped in the 12-story Yun Tsui (雲門翠堤大樓) residential complex which partially collapsed and titled 45 degrees, reported Apple Daily.
Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter flies over ruins of Yun Tsui apartment. (CNA image)
The first three floors of the 11-story Marshal Hotel (統帥大飯店) collapsed, with two employees, who were believed to at the front desk when the quake struck, still missing. The two missing staff members have been identified as Chou Chih-hsuan (周志軒), 36, and Liang Shu-wei (梁書瑋), 26.
There are also 24 believed trapped inside the rubble of the Guosheng 6th Street Building (國盛六街), according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.
Since the magnitude 6.0 quake struck at 11:50 p.m. last night, there have been 14 perceptible temblors and 104 smaller quakes for a total of 118 aftershocks thus far.
As of 9:35 a.m. this morning, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has arrived at the Yun Tsui (雲門翠堤大樓) residential complex to observe the rescue efforts.
President Tsai surveying the rescue efforts at the Yun Tsui building. (CNA image)
Aerial view of Yuntsui building. (CNA image)