Taiwan natural disaster death toll rises to 9

Rescuers brave aftershocks as Taiwan quake toll rises to 10

An quake of magnitude 6.4 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan on Tuesday night.

At least six people were killed, 256 were injured and 76 could not be contacted after the shallow, magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night.

But the authorities slashed the number of missing from more than 60 people to seven by yesterday evening - five Chinese mainland nationals and a Canadian-Chinese couple.

A magnitude-6.4 quake struck Tuesday near the coast of Taiwan, and people may be trapped inside a building.

On Wednesday, another woman visiting from the mainland, Yu Fei, 40, died in hospital from a serious head injury sustained in the quake, the Mainland Affairs Council said.

A Japanese team joined the search-and-rescue operation on Thursday. Rescuers said five other mainland tourists are still trapped in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building, including four adults and one child.

Taiwanese rescuers Thursday braved aftershocks coursing through a dangerously leaning apartment block that was partially toppled by a deadly quake, as their search for survivors uncovered three more bodies. A rescue worker told TVBS that rescuers were working to save two other employees as family members waited nearby.

Most of those who perished died in a single apartment block which collapsed. While most of the unaccounted for were likely to be in one residential building, the agency did not have an estimate of how many were in the building at the time. In a post on her official Facebook page, Tsai said she arrived in Hualien on Wednesday to review rescue efforts. The force of the tremor late Tuesday buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households. A quake two years ago collapsed an apartment complex in southern Taiwan, killing 115 people.

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The natural disaster had struck at a depth of around 23 km.

"We hope local people will overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date", he said. "No one can guarantee that it will not come", said Huang Wu-lung, civil engineer in Hualien.

The death toll from the magnitude 6.0 quake has risen to ten as of Thursday evening, while 272 have sustained injuries and 7 remained unaccounted for, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.

The Central News Agency reported that the ground floor of the Marshal Hotel, a building in Hualien district, had caved in and people were believed to be trapped inside.

Tremors were also felt in the capital city of Taipei, according to the US Geological Survey. It occurred at a depth of about 9.5 kilometers (6 miles).

Taiwanese media reported that the Beautiful Life Hotel also was tilting.

Taiwan is located in the Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, which is vulnerable to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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