Sunday, February 7, 2016
18 dead after magnitude-6.4 earthquake shocks Taiwan
More than 350 people were rescued from damaged structures, many from a 16-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, officials told CNN. At least 16 of the dead were from the Weiguan Jinlong building, CNA said.
As of Saturday night, dozens of children were among at least 153 people still unaccounted for in Tainan, CNA reported, citing the local fire department. A cold wave moving into the area added to their sense of urgency.
More than 60 people in the city remain hospitalized, disaster officials said.
Seven other buildings in Tainan were damaged.
"This was strong enough to not only be felt here in the [Taiwanese] capital city of Taipei but also in the southern provinces of China," Elise Hu, an NPR correspondent who was in Taipei when the quake hit, said in an interview with CNN. "Taiwan is very used to earthquakes and tremors, but this is far more significant than the island has seen in quite a while."
More than 1,500 people are involved in rescue efforts, the disaster center said.
A man who was staying in a three-story apartment building in Tainan told Chinese state media CCTV the building was shaking violently when the quake hit before sunrise. His room tilted 45 degrees, and items inside his room spilled all over the floor.
The Weiguan Jinlong building now looks like an accordion from above.
SETTV's aerial footage showed the collapsed building, with white smoke or dust still billowing from the destruction.
One woman told CNN affiliate EBC that rescuers had to cut a hole in order to help her family get out.
"Fortunately we were stuck under a space created by a baby crib and a closet door, so that things won't fall on us and air was able to get in," she said from the hospital, where she was receiving treatment for a leg injury. "I was so afraid."
Officials, including the country's interior minister, say they will conduct an investigation into the building's collapse, according to CNA.
After residents raised concerns about the safety of the building, Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said he will order a probe as well.
'Imagine something like this happening during Thanksgiving'
The quake struck as many in Taiwan prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
"If you can imagine something like this happening during Thanksgiving holiday weekend or Christmas travel, that's the equivalent of what's happening here in Taiwan right now," she said.
As of Saturday morning (Friday evening ET), about 900,000 homes were experiencing power outages across the country and some 400,000 were dealing with water outages, according to the National Fire Agency.
About 1.9 million people live in Tainan, Taiwan's oldest city.
Posted by wikisabah at 4:57:00 PM