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New quake shakes Taiwan's Hualien

New quake shakes Taiwan's Hualien

At least nine people were killed and dozens remained missing after a 6.4-magnitude quake hit the popular eastern tourist city of Hualien late Tuesday, according to a revised toll from the national fire agency. More than 260 people were injured and 58 were unaccounted for.

"Rescuers on the scene and hospital staffers continue to dedicate themselves fully to the rescue works", she wrote.

"We hope local people will overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date", he said.

Hualien mayor Fu Kun-chi said the number of people missing was now close to 60.

Taiwan's government has launched an emergency recovery operation.

At least nine people were killed and 265 injured in a massive 6.4 quake that struck Taiwan's Hualien city on Wednesday. One resident said that the building sunk into the ground, tilting until the 4th floor became the 1st.

He said the priority was to let people return home to check on loved ones. "My bed was completely vertical, I was sleeping and suddenly I was standing".

At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Its streets were buckled by the quake, with around 40000 homes left without water and around 1900 without power. Water supply had returned to almost 5,000 homes by noon, while power was restored to around 1,700 households.

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Meanwhile, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), China's semi-official body that handles cross-strait affairs, Fujian Provincial government and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region government will each donate 1 million yuan to help relief efforts, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said Thursday. It is an area of frequent seismic activity, and earthquakes are common. The island sits on the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, which are converging at 80 mm per year. More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded since it struck, and authorities warned that earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or higher were possible over the next two weeks.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday confirmed that a Filipina is missing after a 6.4 magnitude natural disaster struck Hualien County in Taiwan.

"This is unprecedented and not a normal release of energy", he said.

"Taiwan is grateful for the many offers of assistance and support coming from around the world".

Rescuers have so far managed to save around 200 people, reporting also that 265 were injured.

The hotel that collapsed is the Marshal Hotel, according to the Taiwan Observer.

An octogenarian resident was inside his apartment at the time of the quake. Five people were charged, including the developer and two architects.

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