Taiwan is shaken by a strong earthquake


A strong earthquake rattled much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, stranding some 400 tourists on a mountainside and derailing part of a passenger train.

One person was killed and nine people suffered minor injuries, the Taiwan Emergency Operations Center said.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was the largest among dozens that have struck the island’s southeast coast since Saturday night, when a earthquake of 6.4 shook the same area.

Most of the damage appeared to be north of the epicenter, which Taiwan’s Central Meteorological Bureau said was in the city of Chishang at a relatively shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles).

In the nearby town of Yuli, a cement factory worker was killed and the three-story building, which had a 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor and residences above, collapsed, the Central News Agency said. island.

The 70-year-old building owner and his wife were rescued first, but it took longer to reach a 39-year-old woman and her 5-year-old daughter.

A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket as rescuers in helmets and orange uniforms lowered a metal ladder for her from the top of the rubble.

The top two floors of the building were left strewn across a small street and to the other side, with power lines downed by the fallen structure.

More than 7,000 households were reported to be without power in Yuli, and water pipes were also damaged. Shelves and musical instruments fell at Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church and a long crack ran across the floor. Outside, the pavement was broken into concrete slabs.

Police and firefighters raced toward a bridge collapse on a two-lane highway in what appeared to be a rural part of the same city where three people and one or more vehicles may have fallen, according to media reports.

Also in Yuli, a landslide trapped nearly 400 tourists on a mountain famous for the orange lilies that cover its slopes at this time of year, the Central News Agency said. They had no electricity and the cell phone signal was weak.

Debris from a tarpaulin falling onto a platform at Dongli station in Fuli city, which lies between Yuli and the epicenter in Chishang, hit a passing train and derailed six carriages, the Central News Agency said, citing railway administration. None of the 20 passengers was injured.

The tremor was felt on the northern tip of the island in the capital Taipei. In Taoyuan city, west of Taipei and 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the epicenter, a man was injured when the roof collapsed on the fifth floor of a sports center.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for several southern Japanese islands near Taiwan, but later lifted it.

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