A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east coast Tuesday collapsing buildings, killing at least two people and injuring more than 140 others, a government official said.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was centred about 20 kilometres north of Hualien, a city with a population of over 100,000, at a shallow depth of nine kilometres.
According to a Reuters report, the Taiwan government said a hotel in the city collapsed as a result of the tremor, trapping at least three people. The government also noted a second building had also collapsed but it’s unclear if anyone was trapped in the debris.
At least four other buildings, including two hotels, were leaning as a result of the earthquake, Reuters reported.
At least two people died as a result of the quake and more than 100 others were injured, the news agency reported.
“Two people were unfortunately killed, and 114 have suffered light or severe injuries,” Taiwan’s Premier William Lai was quoted as saying.
Photos on social media show partially collapsed buildings and crumpled and cracked roads.
A 5.1 aftershock struck the area a short time later.
According to local media, the military has been dispatched to aid in rescue efforts. The tremor also produced landslides along the Su-Hua Highway, closing roads along the route to city.