Earthquake in Taiwan kills 9, leaves 50 missing

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Nine people were killed and more than 900 injured Wednesday in Taiwan’s most powerful earthquake in 25 years, with 50 hotel workers reported missing while en route to a national park, according to authorities.

Rescuers employed ladders to bring some survivors to safety.Television footage showed buildings at dangerous angles in Hualien County, the mountainous and less populated area close to the epicenter of the 7.2 magnitude quake.

The earthquake occurred offshore around 8 a.m.”It felt as if the house was going to topple,” said Chang Yu-lin, 60, a hospital worker in Taipei, the capital.

A Hualien city bed-and-breakfast owner, who asked to be identified only by her surname, Chan, recounted her efforts to reassure frightened guests.

“This is the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced,” Chan said.

The quake, striking at a depth of 9.6 miles, prompted tsunami warnings for southern Japan and the Philippines, which were later withdrawn.

Videos captured rescuers using ladders to free people trapped in buildings, while other areas saw significant landslides.

Strong tremors in Taipei led to a temporary suspension of subway services, which largely resumed later.

Fire department officials reported evacuating about 70 people trapped in tunnels near Hualien city, including two Germans.

Contact was lost with 50 workers on four minibuses heading to Taroko Gorge, a hotel in a national park, prompting a search.

Additionally, 80 individuals were reported trapped in a mining area, though their exact location was unclear.

The government has reported 946 injuries resulting from the earthquake.