Hualien earthquake: 4 dead, 225 injured, 143 missing

Taipei, At least four people have died, 225 have been injured and 143 remain unaccounted for according to the latest report from the county's disaster response center on the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday night.

The 143 whom officials have yet to be able to contact have their households registered in the Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial/residential building (??????) in downtown Hualien, the Central Emergency Operation Center said.

It remains unclear, however, how many of them, if any, are actually in the building, which is leaning to one side.

The Yun Men Tsui Ti building, the Marshal Hotel (????) and two other residential buildings in downtown Hualien all partially collapsed in the earthquake.

It has been confirmed that the two individuals who were previously unaccounted for in the Marshal Hotel are still alive, trapped by the concierge desk of the hotel.

The rescue team on the ground is attempting get them out, but it remains a difficult task because the first and second floors of the hotel have completely collapsed, and what was the third floor is now where the first floor used to be.

The epicenter of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake was at sea about 18.3 kilometers north of Hualien County Hall at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

The impact of the temblor was strengthened by its high intensity -- which measures the severity of shaking -- in certain areas.

An intensity level of 7 -- the highest level on Taiwan's 7-tier intensity scale -- was felt in downtown Hualien and Nan'ao Township in Yilan County.

The Hualien County government announced that schools and offices in the county will be closed for the day earlier on Wednesday.

The earthquake was also felt in Taipei, about 100 km away, at an intensity level of 3.

Source: Focus Taiwan