On Tuesday, an earthquake struck Taiwan's east coast. At least 7 people are dead, reports SF Gate, and more than 60 people are missing. Many of them might have been trapped in the 12-story Yunmen Cuiti building that contained apartments, a small hotel, and a restaurant.

The earthquake was a magnitude 6.4 quake, which is the upper limit of the Richter Scale used to measure how strong an earthquake is. One of the worst places hit was the city of Hualien where walls collapsed and buildings rested at terrifying angles. Tremors are still occurring, the most recent being a magnitude 5.7 tremor on Wednesday, reports NPR.

Rescue efforts

Rescue efforts are underway in the city as emergency workers and volunteers work to shift rubble and search for trapped people. One volunteer, Yang Hsi Hua, told reporters that it was the worst quake the city had ever seen. A major focus of the rescue effort was a residential building tilted at about a 40-degree angle. Rescue workers could be seen climbing ladders as they sought to rescue residents trapped on the upper floors. One resident said that the building sunk into the ground, tilting until the 4th floor became the 1st.

Other emergency workers, along with police attempted to help anxious people wandering the streets and directed people away from destroyed or damaged buildings.

Residents were directed to shelters where they were provided with food, water and a place to sleep.

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, was at the scene and said that Taiwan was grateful for the offers of assistance and support from the rest of the world.

Though Taiwan gets earthquakes frequently due to being located near the junction of two tectonic plates, this is one of the worst earthquakes in recent memory.

Hualien has a population of about 100,000 and about 1,900 homes were without power and about 40,000 homes were without water, according to Reuters. Power was restored to about 1,700 homes and water returned to nearly 5,000 homes on Wednesday.

Bridges and highways remain closed pending inspections as the force of the tremors twisted roads and many have damaged bridge foundations.

However, Hualien's airport runway was intact and rail links appear to be unaffected.


Aftershocks are a major worry as more than 100 have been reported, according to National Geographic, and officials are expecting more to occur. Officials have also warned that further earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher may occur in the upcoming weeks. The recent tremors have been around a magnitude of 4.5.

President Tsai has asked residents to remain vigilant and to pay attention to government messages. She has also requested that officials "work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work."