Earthquake traps 30 people in collapsed Hualien hotel

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A hotel in Hualien has collapsed following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck the east coast of Taiwan. The epicenter of the quake was reportedly just 1km deep, some 22km east-northeast of Hua-lien.

Images posted online appear to show the first floor of the hotel severely damaged, with parts of the building crumbling onto the sidewalk.

According to local media, around 30 people are stuck inside the hotel. Multiple injuries have been reported and rescue workers have been deployed to the scene.

The hotel that collapsed is the Marshal Hotel, according to the Taiwan Observer.

The Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital, which is located next to the hotel, has also reportedly been damaged.

Scenes of widespread structural damage in the streets have been shown on numerous Facebook live videos filmed by locals.

“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,” the president’s office said in a statement after the Tuesday earthquake.

There has been no confirmation of casualties so far and no tsunami warnings have been issued.

The government also said that a bridge in the city cannot be used following the quake.