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Fri, May 19, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Tremors rock Taiwan for a second day

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

As rescuers worked to reach those stranded by a series of earthquakes on Wednesday, two fresh moderate earthquakes shook the island again yesterday, creating more landslides.

Wednesday's series of larger tremors left three dead and eight injured, authorities said.

Yesterday's initial quake, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, struck 17km northeast of Taitung on the southeast coast of the island. The tremor was followed by a 4.2-magnitude tremor 43km southeast of Miaoli in north-central Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said.

A group of hikers was still missing in Taichung County, where the quakes struck Wednesday.

One of them was feared dead -- which would raise the death toll to four -- while three others were injured, a spokesman for the fire department, said.

Three people were killed and at least eight were injured in the six tremors Wednesday. Two of the victims fell into a ravine when the quake hit, while another was buried under the rubble, Tang said.

A landslide caused by yes-terday's tremors blocked off the Central Cross-Island Highway at its 24km marker. Helicopters were needed to evacuate over 30 workers trapped at Chingshan Power Station. The plant is near the 51km marker of the Cross-Island Highway.

Some 50 other workers at the station remained trapped, but were not in any immediate danger.

Television reports showed tractors lifting boulders off mountain roads, and a mangled pickup lay on a deserted highway amid heavy rocks.

Many of those brought to hospital said that the tremors were not particularly strong, but they came in quick succession, sending people scampering to safety as rocks and boulders came crashing down.

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