4 mainland tourists die in Taiwan earthquake, 5 others trapped
Four tourists from the mainland had been confirmed dead as of Thursday morning after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Taiwan's Hualien County.
Three of the dead, all female, were found in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building. Another female tourist was rescued from the same building on Wednesday, but was declared dead that evening.
Rescuers said five other mainland tourists were 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 could not currently enter the room safely.
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said authorities in the mainland would keep close contact with those in Hualien and assist families of the dead to go to Taiwan.
Nine people in total were killed, 266 injured and 62 missing as of 8am on Thursday, after the earthquake jolted waters near Hualien County at 11:50pm on Tuesday.
It was the most severe earthquake to hit Hualien in five decades, according to Fu Kun-Chi, head of Hualien County.
The Red Cross Society of China has decided to provide 1 million yuan (US$158,270) for rescue operations, saying that it was 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.