Dozens of people are missing following a deadly earthquake in Taiwan, with more than 40 feared trapped in a multistory building tilting perilously in the northeastern city of Hualien.
The magnitude 6.4 quake struck 22 kilometers (13 miles) north of the city late Tuesday, killing at least six people and injuring 258 people. It also damaged bridges and buckled roads in the east of the island.
Earlier, officials said seven were dead, but they revised that figure Wednesday evening.
Video from the site of the quake showed smoke rising from collapsed buildings on Wednesday morning as firefighters patrolled streets covered in rubble.
Emergency workers used enormous beams, raised with a crane, to prop up the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, a large residential and commercial complex, which leaned ominously over the street below.
Of 67 people still missing in the city, 13 are believed to be inside a B&B called the Beauty Inn in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, according to the Tourism Bureau. An additional 39 residents registered in the building have not been reached, although it’s unclear if they were in the building when the quake struck.
It’s one of four buildings in the city that were either tilting or had collapsed, authorities said.
At the flattened Marshal Hotel in downtown Hualien, rescuers reached two workers who had been trapped near the main counter in the lobby, Taiwan’s official news agency, CNA, reported Wednesday.
One appeared dazed as rescue workers escorted him out. The other didn’t survive.
Dozens of aftershocks continued to shake the city Wednesday, with 600 military personnel and more than 750 firefighters combing through the rubble and helping with rescue efforts, according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center.
Nine Japanese were injured and taken to the hospital, authorities said, but they have all been released. In total, 31 foreigners were affected, including 14 South Koreans, two Czechs, two Singaporeans and one Filipino, CNA reported.
Hualien is close to Taiwan’s famous Taroko Gorge, a popular tourist destination.
Photos on state media showed the narrow highway in and out of the gorge on Wednesday morning covered in rocks, rubble and debris from the earthquake.
Hundreds of Hualien residents whose homes were destroyed took shelter at a local stadium, provided with emergency supplies by relief organizations.