Taiwan quake collapses buildings, leaves at least two dead

World Today

Earthquake in Taiwan's Hualien City Rescue workers search through rubble outside the Marshal Hotel in Hualien, eastern Taiwan early February 7, 2018, after a strong earthquake struck the island. A hotel on the east coast of Taiwan has collapsed after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, the government said. ( AFP PHOTO / STR )

Emergency crews in Taiwan are scrambling to reach people trapped in collapsed buildings after an overnight earthquake that struck near the city of Hualien. Officials have reported that at least two people are dead, with more than 200 injured.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has more.

Minutes before midnight, people in the city of Hualien ran for safety as the ground began trembling.

The magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck about 20 kilometers northeast of the popular Taiwanese tourist city, where around 100,000 people live. The epicenter was shallow, meaning it was strongly felt on land.

At least two people were killed and more than 200 injured. A number of buildings were damaged, including one hotel that partially collapsed, trapping people inside.

Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen announced an “all-out effort” to rescue those who need help, as emergency responders headed to Hualien.

“There are 36 of us, and we also have three rescue dogs,” one worker told the media. “We are gathering at the airport and taking a plane there. Then, we’ll divide into five groups: search, rescue, medical, logistics, and command.”

Taiwan lies in the Pacific area known as the “Ring of Fire,” which earned its name in part because earthquakes are so common. Nearly 100 smaller tremors were detected before Tuesday night’s major quake. Officials are warning people to brace for more powerful earthquakes in the coming days.

The quake came two years to the day after a powerful earthquake killed 117 people in southern Taiwan. Then, on a visit to the region, Tsai Ing-wen said safety checks of old buildings and urban renewal would be a top priority for her soon to be sworn in administration.

Given the overnight destruction caused by this latest quake, some will soon be asking if enough had been done to protect them.


Hualien earthquake witness describes deadly Taiwan quake

Rescue workers are scrambling to reach people trapped in collapsed buildings after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck about 20 kilometers northeast of the city of Hualien, Taiwan. At least two people were killed and more than 200 injured. Orrin Hoopman, an American ex-pat living in Hualien, described what he felt to CGTN’s Asieh Namdar.


Paul Bodin discusses deadly Hualien, Taiwan earthquake

Rescue workers are scrambling to reach people trapped in collapsed buildings after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck about 20 kilometers northeast of the city of Hualien, Taiwan. At least two people were killed and more than 200 injured. Paul Bodin, an earthquake expert at the University of Washington and manager of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, discusses with CGTN’s Asieh Namdar.