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Taiwan quake toll rises to 14, 3 people still missing: authorities

Taiwan quake toll rises to 14, 3 people still missing: authorities

Rescuers are combing the rubble of collapsed buildings, in a search for about 67 people missing after a strong quake killed at least seven near Taiwan's popular tourist city of Hualien.

The middle-aged couple were identified as Freda and Peter So, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hopes of finding additional survivors from this week's natural disaster in Taiwan were fading Friday after two more bodies were found in a partially collapsed hotel and no signs detected of a missing family of five.

The number of deaths in Tuesday's quake has been raised to nine while 268 people were injured, according to the National Fire Agency, reports Efe news.

Fu Kun-Chi, head of Hualien County, said large machinery will clear the site of the collapsed Marshal Hotel and two tilted buildings on Friday morning. The three bodies and two unaccountable for are believed to be members of the same Chinese family staying at the Beauty Inn on the second floor of the Yun Men Tsui Ti building.

"I grabbed my wife and children and we ran out and tried to rescue people", he said.

The powerful quake, which struck around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday roughly 18 kilometers northeast of Hualien, left two other buildings collapsed.

By Friday, all affected areas had power restored to them but some household still lack water.

While search-and-rescue operations were under way, another 5.7-magnitude temblor hit late on Wednesday near the port city of Hualien, 120km south of the capital Taipei.

With aftershocks continuing through the night, residents were being directed to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium, where beds and hot food were provided.

In a post on her official Facebook page, Tsai said she arrived in Hualien on Wednesday to review rescue efforts.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes, majority minor, but a magnitude-7.6 quake killed more than 2,300 people in 1999 and was Taiwan's worst recent natural disaster.