HONG KONG — A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan 10 minutes before midnight on Tuesday, causing buildings to collapse in the city of Hualien and killing two people, according to the authorities.
The 6.4-magnitude quake was recorded at 11:50 p.m. and was centered about 14 miles northeast of Hualien, a city of 110,000 on Taiwan’s east coast, the United States Geological Survey reported.
A 60-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man were killed, according to the National Fire Agency, part of Taiwan’s Interior Ministry. In addition, 202 people were injured, 27 of them seriously. The agency said it had extracted 149 people trapped in rubble. It said that 40,000 people were without water, and 645 without electricity.
“Armed forces & government agencies are responding,” Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, wrote on Twitter. “Relief measures are underway. Stay safe.”
Taiwan’s government said that at least seven buildings had partly collapsed or were left leaning at dangerous angles. Hualien Hospital was damaged, but no one was trapped inside, according to a statement from the Executive Yuan, Taiwan’s cabinet.
Images carried by Taiwanese news media outlets showed one multistory building pitched at a severe angle. Multiple buildings in Hualien collapsed and efforts to rescue people inside were underway, The Apple Daily, newspaper, reported.