Two killed in Taiwan natural disaster

Two killed in Taiwan natural disaster

The agency posted photos showing a road fractured in several parts.

Images showed the Marshal Hotel leaning over the street, its ground floor caved in.

Rescue workers search the Marshal Hotel in Hualien, eastern Taiwan early February 7, 2018, after a strong natural disaster struck the island.The Marshal Hotel is damaged after an quake hit Hualien on Taiiwan's east coast during the night of February 6, 2018.

Hualien is a popular tourist destination on Taiwan's eastern coast and home to about 100,000 people.

A number of buildings collapsed or sustained damage, including the Marshal Hotel.

Lai said the government was urgently repairing a major highway damaged by the quake. One hotel employee was rescued from the basement and three others remain missing, officials said. "Then it sunk and tilted further and the fourth floor became the first floor", said Lu Chih-son, 35, adding he saw 20 people rescued from the building.

The quake caused widespread damage when it struck about 11.50pm on Tuesday (4.50am Wednesday NZ time) about 21 kilometres northeast of Hualien, a city of 100,000 people on the island's east coast.

Taiwan earthquake
TWITTERA hotel has collapsed in Taiwan following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake

Emergency services are working to free people who are trapped in a hotel that has partially collapsed, the reports say. "There are many aftershocks and we are anxious the house is damaged".

Maggie Lewis, an American visiting scholar living in Taipei which is two hours away from the epicenter in Hualien City, said people there felt a minor shock.

The tremor struck at 23:50 (15:50 GMT) about 20km (12 miles) off the island's east coast.

Most of the death toll from the February 2016 quake was from the 16-storey Wei-kuan apartment complex, which toppled on its side with many of its residents buried in the rubble.

"We were in the hostel when suddenly there was a big natural disaster, there has been a couple of quakes the last few days but this one was a lot bigger", she told TVNZ's Breakfast.

Other buildings shifted on their foundations and rescuers used ladders, ropes and cranes to get residents to safety.

Meanwhile, media reports said that a hotel has collapsed after the quake hit Taiwan's east coast on Tuesday.

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