Sturdy quake rattles east coast of Taiwan, killing a minimum of 2

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Several, smaller tremors followed the initial quake. In 2016, a shallow natural disaster in southern Taiwan killed at least two dozen people.

Most of the death toll from the February 2016 natural disaster was from the 16-storey Wei-kuan apartment complex, which toppled on its side with many of its residents buried in the rubble.

Citing Taiwan Premier William Lai, the AP reported there were two dead and 144 injured. Photos and videos posted on social media show toppled and leaning high-rise buildings and badly damaged roads. Reports of its depth vary from one kilometre to 10 kilometres.

Early reports state that at least five major buildings have collapsed in Hualien City, including the Marshal Hotel (統帥大飯店), the Guosheng 1st Street Building (國盛一街), the Guosheng 6th Street Building (國盛六街), the A-Guan Hotpot Building (前站阿官火鍋大樓), and the Parkview Hotel (美崙飯店), with an unknown number of people reportedly trapped inside.

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Officials from Hualien fire department said 28 people had been rescued from the hotel and a residential building.

Rockfall, blackouts, gas leaks were also reported elsewhere.

Another hotel, known as the Beautiful Life Hotel, is tilting.

Another building had also collapsed in Hualien but it was not clear whether any people had been trapped there. A handful of employees race out of frame as merchandise is shaken off the shelves and onto the ground.

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This is the second earthqake in the area withing several days, with the previous one, nearly the same strong 6.1 magnitude, shaking the east coast 17 km (10 miles) northeast of Hua-lien. And, he added, these are just the latest in a series of quakes that began last week.

This is a developing story. "No injuries were reported at the time of publication", the Taiwan News reported.

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