Taiwan earthquake injuries top 1,000, missing hotel workers found

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Photo / Reuters
GLOBAL - The number of people injured in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in eastern Taiwan climbed past 1,000 on Thursday though the death toll remained steady at nine, with dozens workers on their way to a hotel in a national park mostly now found safe.اضافة اعلان

The temblor, the strongest in 25 years, hit on Wednesday morning just as people were readying to go to work and school, centred on the largely rural and sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien.

Buildings also shook violently in capital Taipei, but damage and disruption there was minimal.

Taiwan's fire department said the number of injuries had reached 1,058, but most of almost 50 hotel workers on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park, a popular tourist destination, had been located.

Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang wrote on his Facebook page that rescuers expected to be able to reach them on Thursday evening.

Work continues to open up the road into Taroko, which is known as the cross-island highway and traverses the gorge connecting Hualien with Taiwan's west coast.

A further 646 people are still trapped, mostly in hotels in the park due to the road being cut off, the fire department said.

The railway line to Hualien re-opened ahead of schedule on Thursday, although one rural station north of Hualien city remains closed due to damage, the railway administration said.

In Hualien city, where people who had been trapped in buildings have all been rescued, some people slept outdoors overnight as more than 300 aftershocks rocked the region, unnerving residents.


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