At least two killed, buildings collapse in magnitude 6.4 Taiwan quake

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"Initial onsite report is that there's a Filipina caretaker missing in one of the buildings there", Banayo said in a television interview yesterday morning.

Search teams managed to rescue 235 people, trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hualien, including the worst-hit Yunmen Cuidi building and Hotel Tongshuai, where the lower floors had collapsed completely.

Authorities said Wednesday that four buildings in the city were either tilting or had collapsed and 85 people were unaccounted for - 43 believed to have been living at the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, a large residential and commercial complex, according to Taiwan's central emergency center.

A magnitude-6.4 natural disaster rocked Taiwan on Tuesday, killing at least two people, injuring more than 100, toppling buildings and damaging roads, authorities said.

The local Hualien County Commissioner has raised concerns over ongoing aftershocks since last night's 6.4 quake that could result in the Marshal Hotel building collapsing, with two more people still trapped inside.

A number of buildings collapsed or sustained damage, including the Marshal Hotel.

About 40 roads have been damaged and two bridges, including Qixing Tan, sealed off.

Gas leaks, blackouts and rock slides were also reported.

Another hotel on Yongxing Road also tilted as a result of the quake.

"Local rescue workers have rushed to the area to try to get them out", she said.

Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, received details about the casualties, property losses and rescue work through a phone call with Fu Kun-Chi, head of Hualien County.

Local media reports say the military is on the scene, assisting in rescue efforts. has been dispatched to aid in rescue efforts.

The desperate search for victims of a powerful natural disaster that killed at least seven people near Taiwan's popular tourist city of Hualien has been hampered by another strong tremor late Wednesday night.

Hualien is a popular tourist destination on Taiwan's eastern coast and home to about 100,000 people.

Taiwan sits at the intersection of the Philippine Sea tectonic plate, which is moving west at about three inches a year, and the Eurasian plate, which extends east from mainland China.

The preliminary information suggests the quake was about 9.5 kilometers deep. Many Taiwanese remain scarred by a 7.6 magnitude quake that was felt across the island and killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.

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