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Magnitude 6.4 quake strikes northeast Taiwan, hotel collapses

Magnitude 6.4 quake strikes northeast Taiwan, hotel collapses

Search and rescue operations continued in an effort to save dozens of people missing. Many people remain stuck in the bottom two floors.

"We've never had anything like this; we've never had a building topple over". At least 7 people are dead, reports SF Gate, and more than 60 people are missing. The government said a bridge in the city on Taiwan's eastern coast could not be used, and the structure of an inn had tilted during the quake.

Taiwan's fire and rescue service said one employee died after parts of the Marshal Hotel collapsed in Hualien county and another perished in a nearby residence.

There were grave concerns for the badly leaning Yun Tsui residential building, which also housed a restaurant, shops and a hostel.

The shifting of the buildings was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground loses its solidity under stress such as the shaking of an natural disaster.

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". Additionally, 830 people were moved to shelters on Wednesday morning, while around 1,900 houses were left without power. Water supply had returned to almost 5,000 homes by noon, while power was restored to around 1,700 households. But Thursday's search only recovered two bodies - a Chinese mainland tourist and a hotel worker.

Tremors were also felt in the capital city of Taipei, according to the US Geological Survey.

Taiwan sits in a very seismically active area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Smaller tremors rattled nervous residents throughout the day. More than 200 aftershocks have been reported ever since. Since Sunday, more than 100 sensible earthquakes have jolted the area. "It is unprecedented and not a normal release of energy", he told CNN.

Taiwan has been hit by a second natural disaster in two days.

Latin America has offered its condolences to Taiwan, after the Chinese region was struck by a 6.4 magnitude natural disaster late Tuesday.

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