It was really scary'.
"We discovered the body of a Chinese woman at the hotel in Yun Tsui (building) earlier this morning and located another person who's a hotel staffer", he said.
At least 66 people remain unaccounted for across the city, the national fire agency said. Hualien has a population of about 100,000 and about 1,900 homes were without power and about 40,000 homes were without water, according to Reuters. CNA reported that seven had been killed.
Fourteen Koreans are among the injured, according to the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry. One resident said that the building sunk into the ground, tilting until the 4th floor became the 1st.
Concrete blocks were laid on the steel rods to anchor them. A major focus of the rescue effort was a residential building tilted at about a 40-degree angle.
Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, was at the scene and said that Taiwan was grateful for the offers of assistance and support from the rest of the world.
"We can only pray that she is safe", he said.
Rescue workers used ladders and flash lights as they searched for survivors among the rubble this morning. 'The government will work with everyone to guard their homeland'.
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More than 90 weaker earthquakes were measured along Taiwan's east coast in the week before Tuesday's quake, the Central Weather Bureau reported.
With aftershocks continuing to hit after the quake, residents were directed to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium, where beds and hot food were provided.
Speaking from a crisis center in Taipei, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said rail links appeared to be unaffected and the runway at Hualien airport was intact.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck 21 kilometres north-northeast of Hualien.
Latin America has offered its condolences to Taiwan, after the Chinese region was struck by a 6.4 magnitude quake late Tuesday.
For many there is a grim sense of deja vu.
Banayo also disclosed that another Filipino worker was among the 256 people who were injured following the quake that hit Hualien, eastern Taiwan's second largest city.
Five people were later found guilty of the disaster, including the developer and two architects, for building an inadequate structure.