A terrified earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hits the northeast part of Haulien with a shallow depth of 10.6 Kilometres. At least four buildings were tilt dangerously leaving two dead.
Rescue works were immediately proceeded to save the five lives trapped and more than 180 people unaccounted for in several buildings affected near Taiwan’s eastern coast.
Hualien gives home to almost 10,000 people but the streets were badly affected by the force of the quake leaving 40,000 homes without water and power.
Unusual scenes were captured with mid-sized buildings leaning at sharp angles, shattered glass, lowest floors turning into damaged heaps of concrete, iron beams bent down and the other debris.
The effect of the aftershock cracked the roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.
“We were still open when it happened”, said Lin Ching Wen, who runs a restaurant nearby military hospital.
A man named Chen Ming-Hui rescued from the hotel’s basement said that the quake was very unusual.
“At first it wasn’t that big, we get this sort of things all the time and it’s really nothing. But then it got really terrifying. It was really scary.”
The recue team used ladders, ropes and cranes to get residents to safety. Reports from Taiwanese media shows that the beautiful Life hotel was tilted, and a road fractured in several parts.
Residents were directed to shelters including a newly built baseball stadium, with the facilities of beds and hot food present.
Hsu Kuo-Yung, cabinet spokesperson in Taipei said that the rail links were unaffected and the runway of Hualien airport was intact. “We’re putting a priority on Hualien people being able to return home to check on their loved ones,” Hsu said.
Safety measures were taken as schools and offices were to be closed on Wednesday, stated by the country’s government.
“The president has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” president Tsai’s office said in a statement.
Taiwan had to face the earthquakes more frequently as it occupies the position of “ring of fire”, the seismic faults enclosing the Pacific Ocean known for the world’s most hit earthquake area.
Two years back, a magnitude of 6.4 quake hit across southern Taiwan, leaving 115 people dead. Investigation were done and five men involved in the construction of the complex were found guilty for negligence and were given prison sentences.
In 1999, a magnitude of 7.6 earthquake hits the central Taiwan killing 2,300 people.