Rescue and emergency workers block off a street where a building came off its foundation, the morning after a 6.4-magnitude quake hit the eastern Taiwanese city of Hualien, on Wednesday. Rescue workers scrambled to search for survivors in buildings left tilting precariously on their foundations, after an overnight earthquake killed four and injured more than 200. Photo: AFP
Chinese mainland internet users expressed sympathy and prayed for Taiwanese on Wednesday after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit eastern Taiwanese city of Hualien, killing at least seven people and injuring 254 people.
Some 145 people were missing Wednesday afternoon and another 143 were trapped in the city's Yun Men Tusi Ti building, according to the local disaster relief administration.
It is the most severe earthquake to hit Hualien in five decades and 26 aftershocks hit the county as of Wednesday afternoon. The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks including several measuring over magnitude 5. It also damaged bridges and buckled roads in the east of the island..
The earthquake also caused 200 households to lose power, and 35,000 households to lose their water supply, the local fire agency said.
The topic "Hualien 6.5 magnitude earthquake" topped China's Weibo social media trending topics list on Wednesday, with more than 130 million views and 230,000 comments.
Most Chinese mainland internet users supported Taiwanese, posting comments such as "please be safe and the mainland cares about you."
Some lit virtual candles and posted emojis of two hands clasped in prayer and beating hearts to show their condolences and concern.
Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, expressed deep condolences to all the victims and sincere regards to Taiwan compatriots who suffered, saying that people from the mainland were deeply concerned about the earthquake and could feel what their Taiwan compatriots felt.
Knowing that quake-hit areas were in need of professional rescuers, Zhang said that the mainland was willing to send rescue teams to help. "We hope local people will overcome the difficulty and rebuild their home at an early date."