Rescuers combed through some collapsed buildings on Wednesday with some using their hands as they searched for about 85 missing people in an earthquake that shook Taiwan. Four people have been said to be killed in the tourist city of Hualien overnight.
The magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, also injured 243 people, officials said. The latest figures from government data indicated 85 people were missing.
Many of those were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, some of which were tilting precariously after the quake hit about 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast.
Two people were trapped inside a badly damaged hotel. The injured included mainland Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean nationals.
President Tsai Ing-wen went to the scene of the quake early on Wednesday to help direct rescue operations.
“The president has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” Tsai’s office said in a statement.
More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 7.6 magnitude quake that was felt across the island and killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.