14 dead, 484 injured in fatal Taiwan earthquake

Published on : Saturday, February 6, 2016

earthquakeA powerful earthquake struck Taiwan on Saturday morning leaving 14 dead and 484 injured, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported. The magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan even as many prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The intensity of the earthquake can be gauged from the fact that it was not only felt 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 to CNN.

“Taiwan is very used to earthquakes and tremors, but this is far more significant than the island has seen in quite a while,” the correspondent added.

Citing the local fire department CNA reported that as of Saturday night, dozens of children were among at least 153 people still unaccounted for in Tainan.

More than 1,500 people are involved in rescue efforts. A cold wave moving into the area added to their sense of urgency.

More than 200 people were rescued from damaged structures. A 16-storey residential building that collapsed in Tainan accounted for 12 of the fatalities. More than 60 people in the city remain hospitalized, disaster officials said.

The Weiguan Jinlong building now looks like an accordion from above.

Officials, including the country’s interior minister, say they will conduct an investigation into the building’s collapse, according to CNA.

Seven other buildings were damaged.

As of Saturday morning (Friday evening ET), about 9 lakh homes were experiencing power outages across the country and some 4 lakh were dealing with water outages, according to the National Fire Agency.

Taiwan’s outgoing President, Ma Ying-jeou, is on his way to the city, EBC reported.

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