Taiwan quake: People trapped, buildings collapse

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck 22km north-northeast of Hua-lien in Taiwan, 9.4km deep, the US Geological Survey recorded.

The earthquake struck at 11:50pm local time, about 4.50am in New Zealand.

Reuters quoted the Taiwan government as saying a hotel in Hua-lien had collapsed following the quake.

An official from the Ministry of Interior’s fire station division told Reuters by phone that people were trapped in the buildings in Hualien.

The government said a bridge in the city could not be used, and the structure of a hotel had tilted during the earthquake.

“The president [Tsai Ing-wen] has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the ‘disaster mechanism’ and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work,” the president’s office said in a statement.

Photos of the collapsed hotel were posted on Twitter.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck nearby on Sunday.

– RNZ / Reuters