Downpours may hamper recovery efforts as Taiwan earthquake death toll rises to 12

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, AccuWeather staff writer
, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 09, 2018, 8:22:32 AM EST

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck 21 km (13 miles) north-northeast of Hualien, Taiwan, Tuesday night, the United States Geological Survey reported.

Damage was reported to buildings and roads in Hualien, according to local media outlets. Images showed the city's Marshal Hotel toppled over. People were reportedly trapped inside, the Associated Press reported.

Focus Taiwan has reported that the military is conducting search and rescue missions. At least 12 people have been killed and over 270 injured. Several people are yet unaccounted for.

A residential building leans on a collapsed first floor following an earthquake, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Hualien, southern Taiwan. (Central News Agency via AP)

The force of the tremor buckled roads, cut electricity and disrupted water supplies to thousands of households, the fire agency said.

Bridges and some roadways remain closed until inspections prove they are safe for travel.

Local airports and rail services were fully operational on Wednesday.

The weather may hinder with clean up efforts into early next week with showers likely every day though Monday.

A cold front moving through on Saturday night will also bring cooler weather and some higher wind gusts on Sunday and into Monday, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

"Winds will be strongest following the front on Sunday and running though Sunday night," Andrews said.

Drier conditions are expected to return on Tuesday with a slight increase in temperatures.

In this photo released by Hualien County Fire Bureau, rescuers are seen entering an building that collapsed onto its side from an early morning earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 7 2018. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck eastern Taiwan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Hualien County Fire Bureau via AP)

Over 100 aftershocks have been reported in the wake of the quake, including a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that occurred around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday about 19 km (11 miles) northeast of Hualian.


— wow Meteor (@a___fu)

The quake occurred around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday local time (10:50 a.m. EST).

Some light shaking was reported as far as Tainan, located on Taiwan's southwestern coast.

The U.S. State Department urged citizens to monitor local media for updates on the developing situation.

Reports of earthquake in . Monitor local media for updates. If in Taiwan, contact loved ones directly or check in on social media to let them know your status. #TaiwanEarthquake

— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov)
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