A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck 21 km (13 miles) north-northeast of Hualien, Taiwan, Tuesday night, the United States Geological Survey reported.
Damage was reported to buildings and roads in Hualien, according to local media outlets. Images showed the city’s Marshal Hotel toppled over. People were reportedly trapped inside, the Associated Press reported.
Focus Taiwan has reported that the military is conducting search and rescue missions. Nine people have been killed and over 250 injured. Over 50 people are yet unaccounted for.
The force of the tremor buckled roads, cut electricity and disrupted water supplies to thousands of households, the fire agency said.
Bridges and some roadways remain closed until inspections prove they are safe for travel.
Local airports and rail services were fully operational on Wednesday.
Over 100 aftershocks have been reported in the wake of the quake, including a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that occurred around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday about 19 km (11 miles) northeast of Hualian. [/restrict]