TAIPEI, TAIWAN: A 6.4-magnitude quake on the east coast of Taiwan has left two dead and more than 100 injured after buildings were toppled and a hotel collapsed.
Premier William Lai said two people had died in the quake in the port city of Hualien and 114 were injured, some seriously. He gave no further details.
The national fire agency said at least four buildings had fallen or been damaged, with televison footage showing roads strewn with rubble and cracks in highways.
Images showed the collapsed Marshal Hotel slanted on its side, partially crumpled into the ground, as rescuers tried to pull people to safety.
Hualien is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist hubs as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and is near to popular Taroko Gorge.
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen said rescuers from around the island were preparing to help.
“We will get into disaster relief work at the fastest speed,” she said in a post on her Facebook page.
One Facebook livestream showed rescuers at the foot of the darkened Marshal Hotel building and a crane carrying them up to the higher floors, which were leaning at an angle.
Officials from Hualien fire department said 28 people had been rescued from the hotel and a residential building.
Photos on Apple Daily showed a man calling for help from the window of another building and wires dangling from the collapsed ceiling of a local hospital.
One Facebook user in Hualien told of damage around him. “The quake is so big… There are cracks on the wall, even the fridge moved,” he said.