A deadly 6.4 magnitude quake has devastated the eastern city of Hualien. Rescuers have been searching for more than 140 people who are still missing.

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6.4 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan

Rescuers scoured through rubble in the port city of Hualien on Wednesday in search of survivors from a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that rocked Taiwan late on Tuesday.

At least 140 people are missing, officials said, and 117 people have been rescued. Many of the missing are believed to be trapped within collapsed buildings.

The quake, which struck about 21 kilometers (13 miles) northeast of Hualien shortly before midnight local time (1550 UTC), left at least four people dead and 225 injured — two dozen critically.

President on site

Thousands of homes suffered from power and water supply disruptions and about 830 people are in shelters.

President Tsai Ing-wen, who arrived in Hualien Wednesday to oversee rescue efforts, said: “This is when the Taiwanese people show their calm, resilience and love.”

Officials said magnitude 5 aftershocks could hit the island during the next two weeks.

Popular tourist spot

Hualien, home to about 100,000 people, is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist destinations due to its location along the country’s scenic eastern coast rail line and location near the well-known Taroko Gorge national park.

The latest quake comes just two days after twin tremors struck the island nation within two hours of each other. About 100 other small tremors have occured over the past few days.

Taiwan’s position at the edge of two tectonic plates makes it a regular site for earthquakes. In 2016, an earthquake off of southern Taiwan killed 117 people.  In 1999, a 7.6 magnitude quake killed about 2,400 people in one of the country’s worst natural disasters.

amp,es/aw (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Courtesy: DW

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