A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck the island of Taiwan, killing at least two people and injuring around two-hundred more. The tremor was centered in the East China Sea, about 20 kilometers off the oriental coast of Taiwan, and was first noticed in the capital city of Taipei at around 23:50 local time. A 5.1 aftershock also hit the Hualien City shortly after the larger earthquake
Three buildings have collapsed in Hualien City, two of them being described by officials as “city department buildings”, and the other being the Marshal Hotel. The lower basement and ground floor of said hotel have given way, and at least three members of staff are thought to be stuck inside, state media says. Photographs show tilting and collapsed high-rise buildings, scattered debris and extensive damage to roads in the area.
Meanwhile, dozens of people have been rescued so from buildings that have at least partially collapsed, the Hualien fire department said. The army has also been called in to help emergency workers. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen assured in a tweet that “relief measures” were underway, while also pleading people to “stay safe.”