A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan’s Hualien County Tuesday, according to the US Geological Survey. The effects of the earthquake measuring 6.4 in magnitude were felt in places as far as the country’s capital, Taipei. Several buildings in densely populated cities were reportedly seen shaking due to the intensity of the quake. Marshal Hotel, a building in Hualien City collapsed due to the quake; people are feared trapped inside, reported news agency AP. Tremors were also felt in far-off cities, local media reported. There are no reports of casualties so far.
Following the quake, the President’s office released a statement: “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,” reported Reuters.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes. The island’s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.