7 Feb 2018

Taiwan earthquake: Buildings collapsed, casualties expected

From Morning Report, 7:22 am on 7 February 2018

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck Taiwan's east coast. At least two buildings have collapsed, including the 300-room Marshal Hotel, which is resting precariously on one side and is tilted over a street.

The Taiwan Observer has reporters on the ground and it's streaming the rescue at the Marshal Hotel live on its Facebook page. There's at least one crane there with a cherry-picker elevating workers to the upper stories so they can reach people trapped inside. The lower stories of the building have been crushed. There are many firefighters at the scene, as well as ambulance workers with stretchers at the ready.

Taiwan sits on the notorious 'Pacific Ring of Fire' and is used to earthquakes. But it's had a 'swarm' of 19 quakes in the last two days. Since the big quake this morning, there's been a severe magnitude 5 aftershock. These quakes are shallow - they're hitting around 10 kilometres' depth.

BBC correspondent in Taipei Cindy Sui joins us with the latest details.