Hotel in Taiwan collapses after 6.4 magnitude earthquake

Map locating a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan

The quake was felt across Taiwan, and some buildings and roads in Hualien, in eastern Taiwan, were damaged.

On February 4, a shallow 6.1-magnitude natural disaster had hit off the eastern coast of Taiwan.

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. The quakes continue to jolt the area near Hualien County through early Wednesday morning. One building was partially collapsed and tipped over at an angle, trapping multiple people inside.

The high-rise Marshal Hotel caved-in, and 116 people were evacuated from the 11-story building after the bottom three floors were crushed, firefighters told Taiwan's state-owned Central News Agency. Another person died in a residential building, the national fire and rescue service reported.

Hsu Kuo-Yung said the railway department hasn't given a full status report of the damage yet but he said it seems the railways have not been damaged much. We dare not go back home now.

The government also said that a bridge in the city can not be used following the quake.

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There had been at least 15 aftershocks following the quake, Taiwan's weather bureau said.

"We were in the hostel when suddenly there was a big natural disaster, there has been a couple of quakes the last few days but this one was a lot bigger", she told TVNZ's Breakfast.

A magnitude-6.4 quake has rocked Taiwan's east coast, following a "swarm" of 19 earthquakes over the past 48 hours.

"We felt more of a swaying than a jolt, but it was more sustained and intense than the quake two nights ago".

Earthquakes are a fairly common occurrence in Taiwan, which sits on the boundary of two tectonic plates - the Philippine Sea Plate to the East and the Eurasian Plate.

The island's worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6 magnitude quake in September 1999 which killed around 2,400 people.

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