Hotel Collapses as Quake Rattles Taiwan

Hotel Collapses as Quake Rattles Taiwan

Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 18:45
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan. (Getty Images)
Asharq Al-Awsat
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern city of Hualien in Taiwan in Tuesday, leading to the collapse of a hotel.

Two hotel employees were killed and 144 people were injured, officials said.

The quake struck about 22 kms (14 miles) northeast of the city shortly before midnight, and the epicenter was very shallow at just 1km, said the US Geological Survey.

Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported that the ground floor of the Marshal Hotel had caved in and people were believed to be trapped inside. The agency posted photos showing a road fractured in several parts.

Taiwanese media reported that aside from the cave in on the ground floor of the Marshal Hotel, a separate hotel known as the Beautiful Life Hotel, is tilting.

The tremor also forced the closure of a nearby highway, said the government.

An official from the Ministry of Interior’s fire station division told Reuters by phone that people were trapped in the buildings in Hualien.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck nearby on Sunday.

“The president (Tsai Ing-wen) has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” the president’s office said in a statement after the Tuesday earthquake.

Taiwan lies along the famed "Pacific Rim of Fire" known for seismic activity from Alaska to Southeast Asia.

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