TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien at 11:50 p.m. tonight (Feb. 6), the strongest quake yet of a period of 48 hours which has seen dozens of temblors in the same area, with many parts of Taiwan seeing dramatic shaking.
The epicenter of Tuesday's quake was 18.3 northeast of Hualien County hall at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers, according to Central Weather Bureau (CWB). While Taiwan's CWB registered the earthquake as a magnitude 6.0, the U.S. Geological Survey rated the quake a magnitude 6.4.
The the power of this quake resulted in an intensity level of 7 being felt in Hualien County and Yilan County, a level of 5 being felt on Nantou's Hehuanshan, and a level of 4 being felt in Taichung City and Yunlin County. Meanwhile, an intensity level of 3 was felt in Taoyuan City, Hsingchu County, Taitung County, Taipei City, New Taipei City, Nantou County, Chiayi County, Changhua County, Yunlin County, Miaoli County, and Tainan City.
Early reports by Apple Daily state that a number of buildings have collapsed in Hualien City, including a hotel identified as the Marshal Hotel (統帥大飯店) and another referred to as the 火鍋大樓, with people reportedly trapped inside, but there are no reports of injuries yet. Massive cracks have appeared on paved roads in the area and power has been cut to a large number of households.
Two people are reported to have lost their lives, 173 are missing and 219 have been injured.
Two bridges in Hualien City have been damaged and sealed off, including the Qixingtian Bridge.
Multiple aftershocks are continuing to strike the area.
The shallow nature of these recent series of quakes striking off the coast of Hualien has led to more people feeling the obvious effects of these temblors, even as far away as Taipei City. Many even in Taipei could see signs swaying and furniture rocking.
Located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan uses an intensity scale of 1 to 7, which gauges the degree to which a quake is felt in a specific location.
Video footage of area on Hualien City hit hard by the quake.