Magnitude-6.0 Quake Hits Taiwan; at Least 6 People Killed, More Than 200 Injured

By | February 7, 2018

Hundreds of rescuers are searching for people still missing after a magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck the east coast of Taiwan late Tuesday, killing at least six people and injuring more than 200 others.

The Central Emergency Operation Center said 76 people remained unaccounted for as of 6 p.m. Wednesday. Some 258 people were injured during the quake that caused four buildings to collapse in Hualien City. Among the injured were five Chinese tourists who have been taken to hospital, the Mainland Affairs Council said. At least nine Japanese nationals were discharged after treatment at hospitals, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee said.

“Rescue operations have been continuing night & day. We will not rest until all people are accounted for,” President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet Wednesday. Rescuers pulled a Korean woman, aged 58, from a partially collapsed building Wednesday.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Taiwan’s east coast at 11:50 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the Central Weather Bureau said. The epicenter was 18.3 kilometers (11.4 miles) northeast of Hualien with a depth of 10 kilometers. There were 159 aftershocks as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Offices and schools were closed in Hualien County Wednesday, the cabinet said in a text message. While power has been largely restored, more than 30,000 households remain without water.

The impact of the quake was largely limited to the east coast. The Atomic Energy Council said all of Taiwan’s nuclear plants are operating normally while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. acting spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun said none of the company’s plants were affected.

On the same date two years ago, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Tainan City in southern Taiwan and claimed more than 100 lives.

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