Earthquake injury rate rises to 164
The Central Emergency Operation Center says the number of injuries reported during that series of earthquakes that rattled the island this past weekend has risen 164. The death toll remains at one.
The Center says as of yesterday afternoon, 130 emergency rescue vehicles and 2,265 personnel had been deployed.
The sole fatality recorded to date was a man working at a ready-mix cement factory in Hualien's Yuli Township was killed when a piece of machinery fell on him during the magnitude 6.8 quake. The centre has not said how most of the injuries had occurred.
Hundreds of travellers who had been stranded in mountainous areas due to the blocked roads have now been rescued.
The Ministry of Health says 29 people in Hualien and 23 in Taitung who had to be evacuated from their homes are now being housed in emergency shelter centres.
The Central Emergency Operation Center says the central government will provide NT$30,000 in disaster relief funding to displaced persons while those who have been severely injured will each receive NT$250,000 and the relatives of dead and missing persons will be given NT$800,000 in disaster relief funding.
The Ministry of Education says the weekend earthquakes caused NT$63 million in damage to 417 schools.
The quake caused widespread damage to buildings and transport infrastructure. The temblor toppled a residential building, whose owners rented out the first floor as a 7-Eleven convenience store, in Hualien's Yuli Township.
A clerk managed to break one of the windows to escape, and firefighters took three hours to rescue four more people who were trapped in the building.
The Hualien County Disaster Response Center says the Gao-Liao and Lun-Tien bridges collapsed and the county's Yu-Li Bridge also suffered damage. Three people were rescued from the Gao-Liao bridge and taken to the hospital. The earthquake also caused widespread transport disruption in eastern Taiwan.
The Taiwan Railways Administration says a falling concrete platform canopy at Dong-Li Station struck a Hualien-Taitung Tze-chiang limited express causing six-cars to derail and forcing the evacuation of 20 passengers.
The railways administration also temporarily suspended of services between Hualien and Taitung due to track damage.
A total of 7,073 households in Hualien's Yuli Township were left without power due to the quake, while neighborhoods in Taipei, New Taipei, Tainan and Kaohsiung also reported blackouts.
In Taoyuan, several people were injured in an indoor badminton court after the ceiling collapsed from the temblor.
No major damage has been reported in industrial sectors, including the Hsinchu Science Park and the Southern Taiwan Science Park.
The Atomic Energy Council says all of the island's nuclear power plants are also operating as normal.
The Central Weather Bureau says it has designated Sunday's magnitude 6.8 earthquake as a "main shock." The bureau's Seismological Center says it has now reclassified Saturday's
magnitude 6.4 earthquake and 70 quakes previously recorded as aftershocks, as 'foreshocks.'
Center director Chen Guo-chang says there have previously been instances when a major earthquake was later re-designated as a foreshock following another bigger temblor.
The bureau noted earlier that it is uncertain whether the release of energy will affect other fault systems. However, Chen is now suggesting the spate of quakes over the weekend may have been triggered by the Central Mountain Range fault system.