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At least 9 dead, 270 injured, 8 missing in Hualien quake (update)

2018/02/07 04:22:48




Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Seven persons were killed, 254 others were injured, some critically, while 88 remained missing after a strong earthquake late Tuesday caused several buildings in Hualien to collapse, the Executive Yuan reported Wednesday.

A total of 116 people were evacuated from Marshal Hotel in Hualien City, a 11-story building whose first-to-third floors were crushed, firefighters said.

Firefighters and military personnel were working on a rescue mission. A rescue team of 33 members and two rescue dogs has departed from Taipei to join the mission.

Another team, composed of 18 specialists, two physicians, two nurses and two rescue dogs, also left Kaohsiung early Wednesday for Hualien.

Hualien County government's emergency operation center reported six buildings -- including three hotels, a restaurant and two residential buildings -- collapsed or caved in, a military hospital tilted, and Hualien Bridge that links Hualien City to coastal highway was severely damaged .

Several sections of the Suhua Highway was closed, the center added.

The county government has announced school and office closure for Wednesday.

(By Lee Hsien-feng, Huang Li-yun and S.C. Chang)
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