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Strong earthquake strikes Taiwan’s coast; at least 2 killed

TAIPEI, Taiwan >> A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck today near the coast of Taiwan, killing two hotel employees and injuring 144 other people, officials said.

The Central News Agency reported that the ground floor of the Marshal Hotel, a building in Hualien district, had caved in and people were believed to be trapped inside.

Taiwanese media reported that a separate hotel known as the Beautiful Life Hotel was tilting.

The agency also posted photos showing a road fractured in several parts.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck late today about 13 miles northeast of Hualien, on the island’s east coast. It occurred at a depth of about 6 miles.

The earthquake followed one over the weekend off the coast of Hualien, which lies along the famed “Pacific Rim of Fire” known for seismic activity from Alaska to Southeast Asia.

Search teams from other areas were headed to Hualien.

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