A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the coastal city of Hualien in Taiwan, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, causing buildings including a hotel to collapse and forcing the closure of a nearby highway.
The quake struck about 22 kms (14 miles) northeast of Hualien – which is home to about 100,000 people – shortly before midnight, and the epicenter was very shallow at just 1km, the USGS said. There was no immediate confirmation of any deaths or injuries or word of any tsunami warning, but the government confirmed in the early hours of Wednesday that the Marshal Hotel in Hualien had collapsed, trapping three people inside.
Another building also collapsed in Hualien, it added, but did not say whether any people had been trapped there. Four other buildings, including two hotels, also tilted during the earthquake in Hualien, a popular tourist destination on Taiwan’s eastern coast, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital, Taipei. (AP)