Taiwan's biggest earthquake in 25 years killed at least nine people on Wednesday and injured more than 1,000, while most of the 50 workers traveling in minibuses to a hotel in a national park have been found safe.

Some buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated county of Hualien, near the epicenter of the 7.7 magnitude quake, which struck just offshore at about 8 a.m. and triggered massive landslides.

As darkness fell, some people were spending the night in tents and other shelters. Meanwhile scores of emergency workers were trying to shore up damaged buildings and demolish those deemed impossible to save.