17 injured by magnitude 6.1 earthquake in E. Taiwan

17 injured after magnitude 6.1 temblor struck eastern Taiwan's Hualien County

Smashed glass in Far Eastern Department Store.

Smashed glass in Far Eastern Department Store. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A total of 17 people have been reported as suffering significant injuries in greater Taipei and Hualien after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck eastern Taiwan's Hualien County on Thursday at 1:01 p.m.

Thursday's temblor was the first earthquake to exceed a magnitude of 6 this year and was the first which registered an intensity level of 4 in Taipei in 10 years, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). According to the CWB's Seismological Center, the longest period of shaking felt by the quake was 66 seconds in Hualien City, followed by 65 seconds in New Taipei City.

The most serious injuries reported thus far were suffered by two tourists who were hit by falling rocks in Taroko Gorge when the quake struck. A woman sustained minor head injuries, while a Malaysian man surnamed Chu (朱) suffered a broken leg, a contusion to the back of his head, and lost vital signs when he arrived at the hospital.

Cans sent flying off shelve by quake at store in Yilan. (CNA image)

Fortunately, doctors were able to resuscitate the man and they are using computerized tomography to examine the extent of his injuries.

In Taipei, 10 people were reported to have suffered injuries requiring hospital treatment, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center. Five people in New Taipei City sustained injuries necessitating medical treatment, according to the center.

Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) suffered a minor injury when damaged was inflicted on the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) offices by the quake, while one other person in the ministry also suffered a mild injury.