Dalai Lama saddened by quake deaths in Taiwan

A damaged damaged building is seen after an earthquake hit Hualien Taiwan on Feb. 8 2018

At least four high-rise buildings partly collapsed or are leaning precariously after an M6.4 quake struck north of Hualian, Taiwan on Tuesday, Feb. 6, according to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide.

Search and rescue teams have been working around the clock at the site of four collapsed buildings since the natural disaster struck Hualien at about 11:50 p.m. local time Tuesday night.

The temblor, which affected the east coast of the island, killed at least 10 people and injured more than 270 others.

The lower floors of the 12-storey tower - which also housed a hotel - pancaked, leaving the structure leaning at a fifty-degree angle and sparking fears of an imminent collapse.

Taiwan Earthquake: 6.5 magnitude tremors kill 2, over 100 injured

"According to Taiwan immigration service, the body pulled out from the ruins this afternoon was that of our missing Filipino caretaker", the Manila Economic and Cultural Office said. Smaller tremors rattled nervous residents throughout the day.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes due to its position along the "Ring of Fire", the seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur. A total of 772 people are in emergency accommodations.

But Thursday's search only recovered two bodies - a Chinese mainland tourist and a hotel worker. They sent the rescue teams scurrying from the building, only for them to return a little later and resume their grim task.

Meanwhile, first responders attempted to free two employees trapped in the lobby of the city's Marshal Hotel. "Then it sank and tilted further and the fourth floor became the first floor", said Lu Chih-son, 35, who saw 20 people rescued from the building.

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The confirmed death toll has climbed to six in a strong natural disaster that hit near Taiwan's east coast.

A 60-year-old woman said the quake destroyed a cupboard, chest of drawers, and TV set in her home. She passed away Wednesday evening after suffering a head injury during the quake, the news agency reported.

More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and in 1999, a quake of magnitude 7.6 killed more than 2,000 people.

Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments.

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Chen Deming, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, said the mainland was willing to help with relief efforts, such as sending teams to the island.

Freelance journalist Louise Watt tweeted that her apartment in Taipei shook as a result of the quake, adding that she received a "loud presidential alert" on her phone at the same time.

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