Rescuers are seen entering a building that collapsed onto its side from an early morning earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, on Wednesday. The quake's magnitude was 6.4.
The shaking started late Tuesday night local time, toppling buildings, destroying one bridge and buckling paved streets along the island's eastern coast. The quakes continue to jolt the area near Hualien County through early Wednesday morning.
Four buildings have collapsed and one bridge has been damaged, Taiwan's National Fire Agency told ABC News.
The largest quake so far was reported at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday night local time, registered at magnitude 6.4 by the United States Geological Survey.
The Central Weather Bureau, which tracks seismic activity in Taiwan, reported the epicenter of the earthquake was at sea about 18.3 kilometers (11 miles) north of Hualien City.
Update: So far 29 casualties have been reported. Strong 6.5 earthquake hits eastern Taiwan’s Hualien City. Photos shared on Twitter and Weibo show extensive damage. @CGTN is keep updating the latest, click the link below for the live report. https://t.co/x8mXiYU0YN pic.twitter.com/Zg9rRH6vnZ— CGTN America (@cgtnamerica) February 6, 2018
Compilation footage posted to Twitter by the China Global Television Network shows a building tilting on its side over a line of cars parked along the street. People can be seen running down the street, carrying ladders to climb over the rubble and reach people still inside the collapsed building. Another clip shows the damage caused inside a store. A handful of employees race out of frame as merchandise is shaken off the shelves and onto the ground.
Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, says the temblors have continued into the early morning hours on Wednesday. There have been three aftershock quakes over 5.0 so far. And, he added, these are just the latest in a series of quakes that began last week.
The AP reported the 6.4 tremor followed one over the weekend off the coast of Hualien, which lies along the famed Ring of Fire known for seismic activity that circles the Pacific basin.