Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 10: CWB Can’t Rule Out Possibility of Bigger Quake to Follow

The Central Disaster Response Center this evening, February 8, said that the current death toll from the Hualien earthquake now stands at 10, with 272 injured, and seven missing. A total of 772 people are in emergency accommodations.

Among the deceased are four Chinese nationals, and a Filipino carer named Melody who was found trapped in a closet in the ill-fated Yun-Men Tsui-di building.

Among the missing are five Chinese Nationals, and two Canadian citizens with the surnames Su (蘇) and Xiao (蕭).

The Disaster Response Center reported that 28,500 households are without water.

Although some roads and bridges remain closed, railway services on the east-coast line are reported as unaffected.

More than 200 Aftershocks

As of 11:00 am, February 8, more than 200 aftershocks have been recorded following the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred at 11:50 pm, February 6. Six of the aftershocks registered over 5 on the Richter Scale.

Rescuers Suffer Dizziness, Nausea

Firefighters work in precarious conditions after an earthquake in Hualien City
Specialist earthquake search and rescue teams from cities and counties around Taiwan converged on Hualien City to assist rescue efforts after a series of earthquakes culminated in a 6.4 magnitude tremblor that caused at least 4 buildings to collapse February 6, 2018.

Working in the partially-collapsed Yun-men Tsui-di building, search and rescue personnel experienced dizziness and nausea due to spatial distortion as they combed through hotel suites and residential apartments tilted at an angle of 35-45 degrees while aftershocks shook and rocked the buildings.
search and rescue workers work in a partially collapsed building tilted at a precarious angle while aftershocks rock the building after an earthquake caused devastation in the city of Hualian on the east coast of Taiwan February 2018

Bigger Quake Not Ruled Out

Chen Kuo-chang, the acting director of the Central Weather Bureau’s Seismology Center, said the seismic epicenter of the magnitude 6.0, February 6 earthquake was located off the coast of Hualien County and was the largest earthquake in the area since 1972. At present, the earthquake sequence is still under development. Energy release is not quite at the end, which is very different from what happened in the past. A larger earthquake in the future cannot be ruled out.

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