Strong earthquake kills 1, hits the house, sends the train in Taiwan

Strong earthquake kills 1, hits the house, sends the train in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – A strong earthquake shook much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, landing about 400 tourists on the side of a mountain, and knocking over part of a passenger train. his tracks.

​​​​​​One person died and nine were slightly injured, the Taiwan Emergency Operations Center said.

The 6.8 magnitude quake was the largest of dozens that have hit the island’s southeast coast since Saturday evening, when a 6.4 earthquake hit the same area.

Most of the damage appeared to be north of the epicenter, said the Central Taiwan Weather Bureau in the town of Chishang at a relatively shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles).

In the nearby town of Yuli, a cement factory worker died and the three-story building, which had a 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor and a residence above, collapsed, the island’s Main News Agency said .

The 70-year-old owner of the building and his wife were rescued first, but it took longer to find a 39-year-old woman and her 5-year-old daughter.

A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket being carried down a metal ladder from the top of the debris by helmeted rescue workers in orange uniforms.

The top two stories of the building were left across a small street and on the other side, with electrical wires pulled down by the collapsed structure.

More than 7,000 households were reported to be without power in Yuli, and water pipes were also damaged. Shelves and musical instruments at Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church fell and a long crack ran down the floor. Outside, the path was broken into concrete slabs.

Police and firefighters rushed to a collapsed bridge on a two-lane road in a rural area of ​​the same town where three people and one or more vehicles may have fallen, according to media reports.

Also in Yuli, nearly 400 tourists were caught in a landslide on a mountain known for the orange daylilies that blanket its slopes this time of year, the Central News Agency said. They had no electricity and a weak mobile phone signal.

Debris from a falling canopy on a platform at Dongli station in Fuli town, which is between Yuli and the epicenter at Chishang, hit a passing train, derailing six cars, the Central News Agency said, citing the railway administration. None of the 20 passengers were injured.

The shaking was felt at the northern end of the island in the capital, Taipei. In the city of Taoyuan, west of Taipei and 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the epicenter, a man was injured when a ceiling collapsed on the 5th floor of a sports venue.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory for several islands in southern Japan near Taiwan, but later lifted it.

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Moritsugu reported from Beijing. Associated Press writer Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

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