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Aussies missing after massive earthquake

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Aussies missing after massive earthquake

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Two Australians are missing in Taiwan after the biggest earthquake in decades killed at least ten people and injured more than 1000.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit 10km off Taiwan’s coast, near Hualien, just before 8am local time on Wednesday, triggering massive landslides and hundreds of aftershocks.

Dozens of foreign nationals have reportedly been rescued, but there are conflicting reports about how many people are still missing.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed two Australians had been reported missing.

“The Australian office in Taipei is making urgent enquiries with local authorities to confirm their welfare,” a spokeswoman said.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has two other foreigners remain unaccounted for.

According to Sky News, authorities are using the phone signals of the missing people to determine where they might be.

More than 600 people are reported as trapped, but safe.

There are several dozen workers trapped inside a quarry who are reportedly safe but unable to be lifted out due to damaged roads. A number of guests and employees at a hotel in Taroko Gorge are also trapped, but reportedly safe.

According to local reports, more than 70 foreigners have been rescued so far, while the death toll rose to 10 and the number of injured hit 1099.

Western Australian Labor MP Tania Lawrence was holidaying in Taiwan with her husband when the earthquake hit, telling ABC Radio on Thursday she had woken to a “violent” noise.

“There was this most extraordinary noise and it sounded like distant rolling thunder that was just getting louder and louder,” she told ABC Perth.

Tuesday’s earthquake is the most significant temblor to hit the island since 1999, which killed 2415 and injured more than 11,000.

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