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Deadly magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan

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Feb. 6 (UPI) — A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Taiwan’s northeastern coast Tuesday, causing buildings to collapse and bury people beneath debris.

Prime Minister William Lai said at least two people died and more than 100 others sustained injuries in the temblor.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was located northeast of Hualien County at a depth of 6.2 miles and the Central Weather Bureau reported three aftershocks.

A number of buildings collapsed or sustained damage, including the Marshal Hotel. One building was partially collapsed and tipped over at an angle, trapping multiple people inside.

Gas leaks, blackouts and rockfall were also reported. Two bridges in Hualien City were damaged and sealed off from the public.

“Armed forces & government agencies are responding. Relief measures are underway. Stay safe,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted.

Tuesday’s event came two days after a magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck the coast of Taiwan.

Taiwan, located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, routinely experiences relatively minor earthquakes. The country and its populous capital have, however, experienced larger quakes in the past. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan in 1999 and killed more than 2,500 people.

A much smaller quake, magnitude 2.6, also shook North Korea, in an area where underground nuclear tests had been conducted.