The shifting of the buildings after the magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground beneath a building loses its solidity under stress such as that caused by an natural disaster.
The Central Disaster Response Center this evening, February 8, said that the current death toll from the Hualien quake now stands at 10, with 272 injured, and seven missing.
Emergency workers surrounded a badly damaged 12-story residential building, a major focus of the rescue effort.
Four mobile cranes have been brought to the area to help prop the structure up with metal posts, as rescuers went room by room looking for people that may have been trapped inside the building.
More than 220 aftershocks followed the main quake, including a 5.7 quake late on Wednesday.
The national fire agency said three of those killed were Chinese nationals from the mainland.
Taiwan is "grateful to the many offers of assistance & support coming from around the world", Tsai, who was in the city Wednesday to view the damage, said toward the end of the day.
Rescuers said despite the continuous aftershocks, they have never given up hope and will work harder to speed up the operations. "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.
Tualien lies close to Taiwan's east coast.
Huang made the comment after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed appreciation earlier that day on her Twitter account for the expressions of sympathy and blessings extended by countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, China, and the European Union in the wake of the natural disaster. The victims were a 66-year-old male and a 60-year-old female.
"We have not seen a sign of a slowdown yet", he said.
China says it is prepared to send a rescue team to Taiwan after a strong natural disaster struck near the island's east coast. But since Sunday, clusters of strong earthquakes have continuously shaken the city of Hualien, until the strongest one hit Tuesday night.
Residents at temporary shelters set up in Hualien City described the terror of the powerful quake and their immediate worry for loved ones.
The island's worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
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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