Earthquake hits Taiwan, causes hotel collapse

A photo of an earthquake used to illustrate the story

A devastating earthquake off the eastern coast of Taiwan caused the collapse of a hotel, government sources said on Tuesday.

“The magnitude-6.0 earthquake’s epicentre was 18.3 kilometres north of Hualien County Hall at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers,’’ Taiwain’s Central Weather Bureau said.

The quake, recorded at 23:50 local time Tuesday (1550 GMT), could be felt across Taiwan, with an intensity of three felt in the capital city of Taipei.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, the temblor followed a spate of earthquakes over the past few days.

“A hotel in Hualien City collapsed as a result of the quake,’’ the National Fire Agency said.

It said that no fewer than 29 people were trapped inside the hotel.

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“Su-Hua Highway, a coastal motorway in eastern Taiwan, was disrupted and cars can’t cross the Hualien Bridge,’’ the National Fire Agency said.

Initial reports said no less than 702 households were blacked out.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage.

(dpa/NAN)

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