Taipei: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck just to the northeast of the city of Hualien in Taiwan late on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, causing a hotel to collapse and forcing the closure of a nearby highway, the government said.
The quake struck about 22 km (14 miles) northeast of the city shortly before midnight, and the epicentre was very shallow at just 1 km.
An official from the Ministry of Interior`s fire station division told Reuters over the phone that people were trapped in the buildings in Hualien.
The government said a bridge in the city on Taiwan`s eastern coast could not be used, and the structure of an inn had tilted during the earthquake.
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck nearby on Sunday.
"The president (Tsai Ing-wen) has asked the cabinet and related ministries to immediately launch the `disaster mechanism` and to work at the fastest rate on disaster relief work," the president`s office said in a statement after the Tuesday earthquake.