Rescue operations in Taiwan's Hualien County continued Thursday following the powerful earthquake that struck the island the previous day, with efforts to reach hundreds of people stranded in a mountainous area hampered by damage to road infrastructure.

The number of injured increased to around 1,100 while the death toll rose to 10 with 15 people unaccounted for, local authorities said.

Some tunnels and bridges on major roads in Hualien were damaged by the quake, according to local media reports. Over 600 people were stuck at a hotel and a tourist activity center in Taroko National Park in the eastern county but their safety has now been confirmed, the authorities said.

A building is seen leaning in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on April 4, 2024, following a powerful earthquake the previous day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Meanwhile, some 60 workers who were stranded at a rock quarry were able to leave the site on Thursday afternoon, according to the authorities.

The island's meteorological authority said more than 300 aftershocks have occurred since the quake hit off Taiwan's east coast on Wednesday.

The authority put the magnitude of the quake, which also caused small tsunami to reach nearby Japanese islands, at 7.2, while the Japan Meteorological Agency said it registered 7.7.

Photo taken on April 4, 2024, shows an evacuation center set up in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, following a powerful earthquake the previous day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The temblor, the biggest to hit Taiwan since 1999, triggered landslides in Hualien County and tilted some buildings in the city of Hualien. A man died in one of the buildings, according to the authorities.

Shuai Wei-sheng, an elderly resident of the city, told Kyodo News at a shelter that he was rescued from his home on the sixth floor of a nine-story apartment that tilted after the quake hit at 7:58 a.m. He said he became trapped under containers that fell in an aftershock.

A damaged building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on April 4, 2024, following a powerful earthquake the previous day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"I phoned for help and tried to move them away. But before I could get up, rescue workers were already cutting through my window. They came fast," said Shuai.

Taiwan's premier, Chen Chien-jen, visited the city Thursday and said the government will do its best to rescue people and rebuild affected areas. He added that railway services that had been suspended after the quake have now resumed.

Photo taken on April 4, 2024, shows a landslide that occurred in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, after a strong earthquake hit the region the previous day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Related coverage:

Japan ready to support Taiwan following strong quake: PM Kishida