Three more bodies were retrieved Saturday from a building that collapsed in this week's 6.4 magnitude quake that struck eastern Taiwan, raising the death toll to 15.

The bodies of a man, woman and boy were found in a hotel that occupied the lower floors of the 12-story building in Hualien city. They are believed to be members of a Chinese family of five that was staying at the Beauty Inn.

Nearly all the fatalities occurred at the inn, which occupied the first to third floors of the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, a large commercial-residential complex now leaning at a steep angle.

The bodies of two people identified as a Canadian couple of Hong Kong origin, as well as four Chinese, two Taiwanese and a Filipino, all tourists, were earlier recovered.

Three Taiwanese died elsewhere in the city, including an employee of the Marshal Hotel who was killed when the bottom level of the 11-story building caved in.

The powerful quake, which struck around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday roughly 18 kilometers northeast of Hualien, left two other buildings collapsed.

Nine Japanese are among the 272 injured but their injuries are not life threatening, according to the Taiwan Foreign Ministry.

While power has been fully restored, about 6,600 families are still left without fresh water.

More than 290 aftershocks, many of them strong, have been recorded since Tuesday's main quake.

Situated at the convergence of two major tectonic plates on the western Pacific Rim, Taiwan is prone to seismic activity.

On the same day in 2016, a magnitude 6.6 quake hit the southern city of Tainan in the predawn hours, killing 117 people, including 115 from the collapse of a 16-story apartment building in the downtown area.

A magnitude 7.7 temblor hit the central county of Nantou in September 1999, killing more than 2,400 people.

Japan was the first country to dispatch a team to help with relief. The team of experts who brought advanced equipment arrived on the scene Thursday afternoon to assist in the search and rescue mission. They left at around noon Saturday.

In addition to sending a team of experts, Japan has raised more than 80 million yen (about $735,000) from individual donors on Yahoo! Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wrote an open letter to President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday to express words of sympathy, tweeted on Friday, "Dear friends in Taiwan, Japan now stands with you."

However, the move angered Beijing, which lodged stern representations with the Japanese government over what it called Japan's violation of the "one China" principle by addressing Tsai as "president" in the letter.

Despite China's displeasure, Tsai on Saturday thanked Japan for its speedy assistance, which she said reflected the friendship and values commonly cherished by Taiwan and Japan.

Other countries are also assisting the relief efforts in different forms. Singapore sent a military plane to provide relief materials such as tents and medical supplies.

China's Red Cross has pledged NT$4.6 million (about $157,000) in emergency funds, while the central government's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and its coastal province of Fujian, which lies just across the Taiwan Strait, have each pledged equivalent amounts.