Taiwan Earthquake That Left 10 Dead Captured in Heart-Stopping Video

Chen calling family

Fu said the any rescue team is welcomed by people in the quake-hit areas.

But the authorities slashed the number of missing from more than 60 people to seven by yesterday evening - five Chinese mainland nationals and a Canadian-Chinese couple.

The quake hit the island nation 11:50 pm (local time) (3.50pm GMT) on Tuesday, around 21 kilometres, northeast of the port city of Hualien, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households, the fire agency said.

Hualien is one of Taiwan's most popular tourist hubs as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and near the popular Taroko Gorge.

Rescuers on Thursday also found the body of an employee of the Beautiful Stay motel in a first floor room that was crushed when the building listed, the centre said.

"It tilted mostly because it was built on top of the fault, and because there were balconies on just one side of the building", he said.

At least four people were killed and 247 injured in the quake, while 82 were unaccounted for.

A magnitude-6.4 natural disaster struck Tuesday near the coast of Taiwan, and people may be trapped inside a building.

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Mr Lin Tzu Wei, an official at Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, said continued vigilance of seismic activity was needed. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there were no reports of Singaporeans injured.

The central government only accepted Japan's offer to send a 7-member specialist team to Hualien because it has high tech body-heat detection equipment Taiwan does not possess that can help rescue more survivors, according to Huang. She also visited an evacuation shelter and talked to evacuees.

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by late Tuesday's magnitude 6.4 quake.

Four tourists from the mainland had been confirmed dead as of Thursday morning after a magnitude-6.5 quake hit Taiwan's Hualien County.

"I didn't really dare stay at home", said Hualien resident Yang Yantin.

Yu's husband arrived in Taipei on Wednesday, the foundation said, adding that it was helping Yu's mother and brother, as well as the families of the three other women killed to travel to Taiwan to retrieve the bodies.

Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS said Wednesday that a rescue operation was underway at the Marshal Hotel. Many buildings were destroyed in the affected city.

The building is tilting seriously with the interior structure collapsed.

The agency says 219 people were injured, two dozen of them critically, in Hualien county.

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