At least 2 dead, 219 injured and 173 missing after 6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Taiwan

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(CNN) -- At least two people are dead and 219 injured -- including tourists -- after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck just off the east coast of Taiwan late February 6, local police said.

So far, 173 people were unaccounted for, according to the Hualian County disaster response center, with four buildings in the area either tilting or already collapsed.

The quake was centered in the East China Sea about 21 kilometers north-northeast of Hualien City. Light shaking was felt in the capital of Taipei, about 120 kilometers north of Hualien City, according to reports sent to the US Geological Survey.

The Marshal Hotel in downtown Hualien was one of the buildings that collapsed, Jeff Lin with the Hualien Police Department said.

About 400 rescue workers scrambled to locate people, and a crane was brought in to help, footage from CNN affiliate SET TV showed. One building apparently had collapsed onto what once was the ground floor.

The injured are mainly from the Marshal Hotel, and a few of the injured were in the city buildings. One hotel employee was rescued from the basement and three others remain missing, officials said.

At least 50 Japanese tourists were among the injured, a Hualien City police dispatcher said.

At least one bridge, badly damaged by the earthquake, has been partially reopened by police to traffic, Taiwan's official news agency CNA said.

A 5.4 aftershock hit near Hualien City shortly after the larger earthquake, according to the USGS. There have been several other strong quakes in the area in the last few days.

Cellphone video from Hualien City shows a large building leaning at a dangerous angle as sirens are heard in the background. The video shows people gathering near the building and shining flashlights on windows.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet that armed forces and government agencies are responding.

"Relief measures are underway," Tsai tweeted. "Stay safe."

Flights to the Hualien area have been canceled, Hsu Kuo-Yung, the spokesperson for the Taiwanese government, said in a news conference shown on SET TV.

Hsu Kuo-Yung said the railway department hasn't given a full status report of the damage yet but he said it seems the railways have not been damaged much. Some roads have been damaged.


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