Canadian citizens found dead in collapsed hotel in Taiwan earthquake aftermath

Glen Norman
February 10, 2018

A total of 12 people have been confirmed dead, of whom four are from the Chinese mainland, five from Taiwan, one from the Philippines and two from Canada.

The National Fire Agency revised the death toll down to nine people after rescuers double-counted one person who died.

At least 10 people were killed when a 6.4-magnitude quake hit the eastern tourist city of Hualien in Taiwan on Tuesday.

The Hualien quake came exactly two years to the day after a similar sized tremor struck the western city of Tainan, killing 117 people - most in a single apartment block which collapsed.

"We have to confirm that unfortunately she was not able to survive the strong quake in Hualien", he said, adding Philippine labor officials had already informed the next of kin.

Three of the partially collapsed buildings have been cleared of people and are now being demolished "in order to maintain safety for the public", Hualien mayor Fu Kun-chi said, adding that authorities are probing possible construction irregularities. As rescue efforts continue, Saint Lucia, having very close ties with Taiwan has reached out and extended condolences to the families of the victims.

As the fight against time gets crucial in finding survivors of Taiwan's natural disaster, rescue dogs are now being used more. Its streets were buckled by the force of the quake, with around 40,000 homes left without water and around 1,900 without power.

Rescuers worked their way around and through the building while residents looked on from behind cordoned-off roads.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited Thursday with people sheltering in schools and other sites as a safeguard against repeated aftershocks.

The highway from Suao to Hualien was temporarily closed.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck just before midnight Tuesday about 21 kilometers (13 miles) northeast of Hualien at a relatively shallow depth of about 10.6 kilometers (6.6 miles). Five people involved in constructing the complex were found guilty of negligence and given prison sentences.

More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 7.6 magnitude quake that was felt across the island and killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.

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