Rescuers are searching for people trapped in rubble after a deadly quake strikes Taiwan

The shallow, magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night caused at least four buildings in worst-hit Hualien county to cave in and tilt dangerously, killing four people.

Video footage and photos showed several midsized buildings leaning at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, shattered glass, bent iron beams and other debris. Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments.

The quake injured 225 people, two dozen of them critically, in Hualien county, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported. The force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.

The official news agency said all but two of the 145 people who could not be reached might be in the Yunmen Cuiti building, a 12-story apartment building, though it said it did not immediately have an estimate of how many were trapped.

Bridges and some highways were closed pending inspections.

With aftershocks continuing through the night, residents were being directed to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium, where beds and hot food were provided.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes due to its position along the “Ring of Fire,” the seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

Exactly two years earlier, a magnitude 6.4 quake collapsed an apartment complex in southern Taiwan, killing 115 people. Five people involved in the construction of the complex were later found guilty of negligence and given prison sentences.

A magnitude 7.6 quake in central Taiwan killed more than 2,300 people in 1999.

Charitable Foundation Winston Churchill collects money and humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Taiwan. Donate



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