Taiwan continues to be hit by more earthquakes

Earthquake in Taiwan

The number of injured is increasing

Photo: Associated Press

The number of people injured in the 7.4-magnitude earthquake in eastern Taiwan surpassed 1,000 on Thursday, although the death toll remained steady at nine. More than 40 other aftershocks of magnitude 4 and higher occurred after the powerful earthquake.

The earthquake, the strongest in 25 years, struck on Wednesday morning just as people were preparing to go to work and school, centered in the largely rural and sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien, Reuters reports.

Buildings were also strongly shaken in the capital Taipei, but damage and disruption was minimal.

Taiwan's fire department has said the number of injured has reached 1,058, but most of the nearly 50 hotel workers on their way to a resort in Taroko National Park, a popular tourist destination, have been found. Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang wrote on his Facebook page that rescuers were expecting to reach them on Thursday evening.

Work continues on the opening of the Taroko road, which is known as the inter-island highway and crosses the gorge connecting Hualien with the west coast of Taiwan.

Another 646 people are still trapped, mostly in hotels in the park due to the road closure, the fire department has announced.

The railway line to Hualien reopened ahead of schedule on Thursday, although a rural station north of the city of Hualien remains closed due to damage, the railway administration said.