Last updated: 6:06 pm Eastern Time
On Tuesday a deadly earthquake hit Taiwan, killing 8 people and injuring 258 people, according to CNN. Tremendous damage has been caused to numerous buildings, roads, and bridges.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, buildings were collapsing and rising smoke could be seen coming from the falling buildings. Firefighters patrolled the streets, covered in rubble, trying their best to rescue people who needed help. Emergency workers used enormous beams to prop the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, a large residential-commercial complex, which learned toward one side over a street below.
Currently, dozens of people are missing from the city. Over a dozen was believed to be trapped inside of a Beauty Inn in the Yun Men Tsui building pictured above. Dozens of other residents, although they are registered in the building, have not been reached at this time. That being said, it is unclear whether they are currently inside of the leaning building.
The New York Times reports that those who are dead range from ages 37 to 66, and another 63 are still missing. About 196 people have been rescued so far from several buildings.
People throughout the area are trapped underneath rubble. According to CNN, at the flattened Marshal Hotel, located in downtown Hualien, rescuers discovered two workers who were trapped int he lobby. Taiwan's official news agency claims that one of the workers trapped in the lobby appeared dazed as rescuers escorted him out of the rubble. The other worker didn't survive.
According to the New York Times, President Tsai Ing-wen visited the disaster scene on Wednesday. He was thankful for the first responders and their tireless effort, day and night, to make sure that the remaining people are accounted for.
“Rescue operations have been continuing night & day," he said. Right now over 100 people remain unaccounted for — we will not rest until all are found.”
More than 90 weaker earthquakes were measured along Taiwan's east coast in the week before Tuesday's deadly quake. More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded since the Tuesday quake struck, and authorities warned that another earthquake of a 5.0 magnitude or higher should be prepared for over the next two weeks.
On top of that, another two strong earthquakes were recorded within 45 seconds of each other on Sunday night near Hualien, reaching a magnitude of 5.3 and 6.1. Although earthquakes are common in this area, recent activity is unprecedented. In particular, it is very rare that so many quakes, especially of such great magnitude, happen in such short succession.
Locals are amazed at the collapsing and tilting buildings, and they are mourning the loss of so many members of their community.
Lu Chih-son, a local who saw 20 people rescued from a building, remarked that "I saw the first floor sink into the ground. Then it sunk and tilted further and the fourth floor became the first floor."
"My family was unhurt, but a neighbor was injured in their head and is bleeding. We dare not go back home now. There are many aftershocks and we are worried the home is damaged," he told Straits Times.
CNN reports that some 1,900 households were without power in the wake of the quake on Tuesday, but most had been restored by Wednesday morning. Still, however, an estimated 35,000 residents were without water Wednesday evening.
Reports claim that 800 people went to bed in shelters on Wednesday. Nearly 500 were at the Hualien Gymnasium and another 300 were at Chunghwa Primary School. Their homes had been destroyed or damaged, and there was no place for them to go. As they remained in shelters, after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed or severely damaged, they continued to live in fear of continuing aftershocks and warnings of another major earthquake likely to occur within the next two weeks.
Taiwan sits at the intersection of the Philippine Sea tectonic plate, which is now moving westward about three inches every year. It also sits at the edge of the Eurasian plate, which is located east from mainland China. It experiences frequent activity.
The eastern land of Taiwan is less populated than the western side and is known for its beauty. It is also home to the Taroko National Park.
Please pray for the victims, their families, and first responders in the aftermath of this tragic disaster. In recent news, President Trump is expected to support the release of a controversial Democrat-authored memo.