Destinations

Tourists trapped in Taiwanese hotel after severe earthquake

A major earthquake registering at 6.4 on the Richter scale has caused a hotel to tip backwards, trapping dozens.

Two hotel employees have already passed away, while 144 people are reported to have been injured.

The hotel is located on the east coast of Taiwan, in the popular Hualien district.

“Two people were unfortunately killed, and 114 have suffered light or severe injuries,” Taiwan’s Premier William Lai told an emergency government meeting.

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The Marshal Hotel, which has more than 200 roooms, has fallen into itself, with photos showing the building to have completely caved.

According to different news reports, 30 people remain trapped inside the hotel.

The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen has said fire fighters and rescuers from all over the country were arriving in the city to help.

In a statement on Facebook, Ing-wen said: “We will get into disaster relief work at the fastest speed.”

The earthquake struck Hualien at 11.50pm on Tuesday night (local time), with the epicentre roughly 21 kms outside of Hualien.

TAIWAN-EARTHQUAKE

The port city is hugely popular with tourists thanks to its close proximity to the Taroko Gorge and east coast rail line.

According to ABC News, a volunteer Yang Hsi Hua said: “This is the worst earthquake in the history of Hualien, or at least over the past 40 years that I’ve been alive.”

“We’ve never had anything like this, we’ve never had a building topple over.

“Also, it was constantly shaking, so everyone was really scared, we ran to empty open spaces to avoid it.”

At present, 64 people are still missing.

 

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