A female Philippine caregiver, identified as Melody Albano Castro, was confirmed dead in the quake that hit Hualien City in eastern Taiwan before midnight on Tuesday, according to reports.
The island's worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
Authorities revised the number of people who were still missing down from about 60 to seven on Thursday evening.
Families of the deceased, regardless of whether they were Taiwanese or foreigners, would receive NT$600,000 (US$20,415) from the county government, while residents who lost their homes in the three residential buildings would receive NT$200,000, Fu said, adding that they should remain in the shelters set up by the county government. Rescuers said five other mainland tourists are still trapped in the damaged Yun Men Tusi Ti building, including four adults and one child.
Taiwan has frequent earthquakes due to its position along the "Ring of Fire", the seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur. A rescue worker told TVBS that rescuers were working to save two other employees as family members waited nearby. Four buildings collapsed, officials said, and those confirmed to have been killed included five locals, four mainland Chinese, and a Filipina. "So we can't use large machinery for fear that the people there might be harmed if the machinery happens to damage or collapse the structure", said rescuer Wang Ming-chung.
The quake late Tuesday caused buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously and killed at least two people.More news: Carter Page Who Once Bragged About Advising Kremlin Backtracks
Speaking from a crisis center in Taipei, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said rail links appeared to be unaffected and the runway of Hualien airport was intact. "No one can guarantee that it will not come", said Huang Wu-lung, civil engineer in Hualien.
A series of strong aftershocks have hindered search and rescue efforts on Thursday for victims and survivors of a magnitude-6.4 natural disaster in Taiwan that left nine people dead and 226 others injured.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck late Tuesday about 21 kilometers (13 miles) northeast of Hualien, on the island's east coast.
The agency also posted photos showing a road fractured in several parts.
Taiwanese media reported that the Beautiful Life Hotel also was tilting.
The quake followed one over the weekend off the coast of Hualien, which lies along the famed "Pacific Rim of Fire" known for seismic activity from Alaska to Southeast Asia.