His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Photo: TPI file

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Dharamsala, HP, India — The Latest on a strong earthquake that struck Taiwan on Tuesday, at 9.20 p.m local time. The spiritual leader of Tibet is sending his prayers to the victims of Taiwan's earthquake and encouragement to rescue crews. The confirmed death toll has climbed to six in a strong earthquake that hit near Taiwan's east coast.

In a letter he wrote to the President of Taiwan Ms. Tsai Ing-wen today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed sadness over the loss of life and extensive devastation caused by a strong earthquake that struck Hualien city last night.

"I understand that every effort is being made to rescue the injured and provide relief to those affected by this tragedy," he added. "I offer condolences to Your Excellency and to the families who have lost loved ones."

Six people are reported to have lost their lives, 173 are missing and 219 have been injured. Of the 173 missing, 147 people are trapped in the 12-story Yunmen Cuiti residential complex which partially collapsed and titled 45 degrees.

Taiwan's National Fire Agency said Wednesday that in addition to the six deaths, 256 people were injured in the quake and 88 were unaccounted for. Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported that seven people had been killed. The shallow, magnitude 6.4 quake that hit late Tuesday night caused at least four buildings in worst-hit Hualien county to cave in and tilt dangerously.


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