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Taiwan quake death toll rises to 10

Photo taken on Feb. 8, 2018 shows the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building in Hualien, southeast China's Taiwan. Four tourists from the mainland had been confirmed dead as of Thursday morning after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake hit Taiwan's Hualien County. Rescuers said five other mainland tourists are still trapped in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building, including four adults and one child. Photo: Xinhua

A powerful earthquake has killed at least 10 in Taiwan's Hualien County, leaving 272 injured and seven still missing.

Of the victims, four came from the Chinese mainland and one from the Philippines. Three mainland tourists were found in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building. Another mainland tourist was rescued from the same building Wednesday, but was declared dead that evening.

Rescuers said five other mainland tourists are still trapped in the building, four adults and one child.

So far, no signs of life have been detected from the room. Rescuers said they cannot currently enter the room safely.

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.

Yun Men Tusi Ti building will be cleared after no signs of life are confirmed by experts, as there are still people trapped inside the building.

Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council,Wednesday expressed deep sympathy to all the victims and sincere regards to Taiwan compatriots who suffered, saying that people from the mainland were deeply concerned about the earthquake and sympathized with their Taiwan compatriots.

"We hope local people will overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date," he said.

Chen Deming, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, said the mainland is willing to assist with the quake relief, including sending rescue teams to the island.

Fu said the any rescue team is welcomed by people in the quake-hit areas.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), the magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolted waters near Hualien at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday.

It was the most severe earthquake to hit Hualien in five decades, according to Fu.

The Red Cross Society of China has decided to provide 1 million yuan (158,270 U.S. dollars) for rescue operations, saying that it is ready to send rescue teams to Taiwan.

Other mainland authorities such as the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, Fujian Province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also said they would each donate 1 million yuan to Hualien.

The Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, a political party in the mainland, expressed sympathy Thursday to those affected.

The Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland has donated 6 million new Taiwan dollars (20.44 million U.S. dollars) to Hualien.

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