At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris.
Fu Kun-Chi, head of Hualien County, said large machinery will clear the site of the collapsed Marshal Hotel and two tilted buildings on Friday morning.
"A doctor evaluated that there is no sign of life and their bodies have been sent to a funeral parlour", it added.
"We've never had anything like this, we've never had a building topple over".
As of 4 p.m. Friday, at least 12 people had been killed in the Hualien natural disaster, and five people thought to be in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building remained unaccounted for, according to official tallies. Taiwan's National Fire Agency listed 273 people as injured.
But over his nine years on the job, he has grown to love the job and find a sense of achievement in the smiles of the people he is able to help, Cheng said. Three British tourists were photographed smiling, wrapped in duvets, outside a damaged building in Hualien.
Authorities said they would focus their search on the single building where the five missing were believed to be. But efforts are are being focused on one of the residential buildings that was left tilting by the quake for the missing person, among whom are Canadian citizens.
Francisco elogia a las Coreas por su cooperación olímpica
Moon expresó su gratitud al COI y a sus miembros por aceptar la decisión de último minuto de permitir a Corea del Norte participar en el evento.
"I had to keep composed so I could carry on my work".
"Right now it is only confirmed earlier", she said in a telephone interview.
Hualien is one of Taiwan's most popular tourist destinations as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and near the popular Taroko Gorge.
The government said 16 foreigners sought medical treatment for minor injuries.
Smaller tremors rattled nervous residents throughout the day.
More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 7.6 magnitude quake that was felt across the island and killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.