4.07pm: Taiwan hit by ANOTHER strong earthquake – Big One fears as Ring of Fire on alert
A 5.7 quake has hit the east coast of the island, disrupting search and rescue efforts for survivors of yesterday’s 6.4 Taiwan earthquake.
Today’s quake has once again caused panic on the heavily-populated Asian island.
Testimonies have been left on earthquake monitoring website EMSC-CSEM by witnesses.
One said: “It seems unusual to have this many strong tremors in such a short time.”
Another said: “Feel dizzy, it lasted for almost one minute.”
The earthquake struck at 11.21pm local time (3.21pm GMT).
As aftershocks continue to rock the Taiwan coast, the country’s meterological service Central Weather Bureau (CWB) says a new earthquake can’t be ruled out.
Taiwan News reported that the CWB had said aftershocks from a 5.8 magnitude quake in the area on Sunday would decrease but the opposite was true.
The CWB had counted 94 aftershocks on Monday that began increasing from magnitude 4 to 5, eventually leading to Tuesday’s 6.0 magnitude quake.
The Director of the CWB Seismological Center, Chen Kuo-chang, said the numerous aftershocks seen before and after yesterday’s quake was ”unprecedented and not a normal release of energy”, Taiwan News reported.
When asked by reporters if the magnitude 6.0 quake was a foreshock of an even bigger earthquake, Chen replied, “It can’t be ruled out, however the probability is relatively small.”
The death toll has now officially risen to six people.
11.35am: 4.1 aftershock shakes area around Hualien
A 4.1 magnitude aftershock is the latest one to hit the area.
The large tremor was recorded 24km north-east of Hualien at 10.19am GMT (6.19am local time) by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Scores of people remain trapped or missing beneath city buildings – six of which are at a dangerous tilt and could collapse at any moment.
The island Taiwan is located about 143km east of China
9.25am: Hualien City in numbers
The popular tourist Hualien City is located in the Hualien county on the eastern coast of Taiwan, surrounded by rivers and mountains.
Hualien City measures 29.41km sq and is home to 100,000 people.
The county is home to Taroko National Park, the Mugua River Gorge and Yushan National Park
9.15am: Number of missing rises to 80 people
The official number of people missing in the quake has risen to 80, Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center has reported.
The majority of these are believed to be trapped in the Marshal Hotel, the Yun Men Tsui Ti residential building, and two other residential towers which partially collapsed during the earthquake.
Some of the 243 people injured are said to be hurt “significantly”.
President Tsai Ing-wen visited the secene of the quake early on Wednesday to help direct rescue operations.
9.10am: Search rescue teams search for survivors in rubble
Taiwanese rescuers are combing through the buildings looking for survivors following yesterday’s deadly earthquake which has left scores of people injured.
At the city’s Marshal Hotel, rescuers tried to free two Taiwanese pulled out one alive, but the other person was declared dead, the government said.
Among the injured were mainland Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean nationals.
Around 40,000 homes were left without water and 1,900 without power although water had returned to nearly 5,000 homes by noon (0400 GMT), while power was restored to around 1,700 households.
8.50am: Powerful earthquakes continue to rock city
A series of significant earthquakes have been shuddering through the Hualian capita in recent hours, interrupting rescue efforts.
The most recent quake, measuring 4.8 on the richter scale, was located 15km north-east of Hulien at 3.36am GMT today (11.36am local time).
A total of five earthquakes 5.0 magnitude or above have rocked the area since the initial earthquake.
The largest of these was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake at 7.15pm GMT (3.15am local time).