It had been just about 24 hours since a magnitude 6.4 natural disaster rattled Taiwan's east coast, crumbling walls and knocking tall buildings askew, when rescue workers felt another big rumble late Wednesday.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck just before midnight Tuesday about 21 kilometres (13 miles) northeast of Hualien at a relatively shallow depth of about 10.6 kilometres (6.6 miles).
"The initial onsite report is that there is a Filipina caretaker in one of the buildings who is still missing, so they're searching in the area", Banayo said in the interview.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen thanked first responders in a tweet. She promised that every effort would be made to rescue survivors.
As of 2.30pm today, BBC reported that over 140 people are presently unaccounted for in one damaged building. Hualien has a population of about 100,000 and about 1,900 homes were without power and about 40,000 homes were without water, according to Reuters. Almost 2,000 others did not have electricity.
Half a dozen excavator trucks surrounded the site, where rescue efforts were temporarily suspended because the building was "sliding", according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center. One residential building continued to lean towards collapse causing rescuers to stop their efforts.
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Rescuers focused on the Yunmen Tsuiti residential building that was tilted at a almost 45-degree angle, erecting long steel beams to prevent it from collapsing. Large concrete blocks were also placed against the beams for added support.
Nearly 100 weaker earthquakes were dectected along Taiwan's east coast in the last week. The shaking was felt across Taiwan, but in Hualien the force was disastrous, collapsing walls and leaving buildings resting at alarming angles.
Among the several badly damaged buildings was a hospital, local media reports.
The official news agency said all but two of the 145 people who could not be reached might be in the Yunmen Cuiti building, a 12-story apartment building, though it said it did not immediately have an estimate of how many were trapped. The investigation will look into whether shortcuts were taken, if poor building materials were used and whether all government rules were followed.
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Taiwan sits in a very seismically active area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Mario Ritter was the editor.