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Two dead, more than 100 injured as damaging Taiwan quake topples hotel

Two dead, more than 100 injured as damaging Taiwan quake topples hotel

More than 100 were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 1999 natural disaster with 7.6 magnitude whose impact was felt across the island and in which more than 2,000 people died.

Four other buildings, including two hotels, also tilted during the natural disaster in Hualien, a popular tourist destination on Taiwan's eastern coast, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the capital, Taipei.

But the quake took down a multi-story building and an official from the Ministry of Interior's fire station division told Reuters that people were trapped.

Landslides triggered by the quake closed some vital highways.

People have been trapped in a hotel that has partially collapsed, the reports say.

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

Rescuers are seen entering damaged buildings after the quake.

Maggie Lewis, an American visiting scholar living in Taipei which is two hours away from the epicenter in Hualien City, said people there felt a minor shock.

Hsu Kuo-Yung said the railway department hasn't given a full status report of the damage yet but he said it seems the railways have not been damaged much.

"We live in Wellington and we have experience a few but this is definitely so much bigger", she said.

There had been at least 15 aftershocks following the quake, Taiwan's weather bureau said.

"At the time of publication, Taiwan had registered 19 earthquakes today, with all the tremors clustered around the same area off the coast of Hualien".

There are now 80 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Taiwan.

According to Taiwan News, a swarm of earthquakes struck eastern Taiwan over the past several days.


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