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Dozens Feared Dead in Taiwan Earthquake

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The death toll twenty-four hours after a 6.4 magnitude shallow quake hit the densely populated coastal city of Hualien stands at six with dozens still missing and rescue workers frantically working to find survivors amidst the rubble.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen toured the devastated region, addressed media, within view of the devastated hotel region directing military to assist rescue efforts, and urging citizens to remain calm assuring them the search and rescue workers are working as quickly as they humanely possible.


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“Now that the sky is getting dark, it is still raining, but it is still working hard for the relief effort, either in search-and-rescue staff at the disaster scene or in the hospital's medical and nursing staff. The people of the country are invited to refuel them, and the front-line staff, including media friends, must be,” President Tsai Ing-wen said via Facebook.

The quake, at ten miles deep is considered a shallow quake with the potential to cause widespread structural damage and collapse of buildings. The Marshal hotel was one of the buildings that collapsed trapping guests under a pile of rubble.

"At first it wasn't that big ... we get this sort of thing all the time and it's really nothing. But then it got really terrifying," the worker, Chen Ming-hui, told Taiwan's official Central News Agency after he was reunited with his son and grandson following the quake. "It was really scary," reported Newsweek.

Rescue workers are working frantically to find and free trapped residents as the clock is running and after the first twenty four hours the chances of finding survivors diminished rapidly.

Roads, in the city of 100,000, were buckled and more than 8000 residents have reported damage to their homes. Shelters are opened and residents are warned not to return to their homes until damage can be assessed.

Other buildings have been photographed tilting, dangerously, on one side. The foundational collapse, attributed to soil liquification a common result of shallow earthquakes, caused the building to rest at a nearly 45 degree angle and actually saved the lives as those inside the buildings who were able to escape the damaged structure.

More than a dozen low level aftershocks have continued to move the ground and even in a nation familiar with tremblers the small quakes could have devastating effects bringing down a number of the damaged buildings, which will eventually be brought down from the extensive damage.


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Hualien City, located on the pacific ocean coast side of the island nation, is the seat of political, shipping ports, trade with both import and export and ta thriving tourism industry.

The death toll is expected to rise. Six have been confirmed dead, more than 250 injured and 76 are still missing.

Images courtesy of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen Facebook page.

 

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