Earthquake topples buildings in Taiwan

A building badly damaged by an earthquake in TaiwanImage copyright
AP

Image caption

It was felt strongly in Tainan, a city of two million people, as many would have been asleep

An earthquake has toppled a number of buildings in the south Taiwanese city of Tainan, killing at least one person.

Rescue teams are trying to reach people trapped in rubble after the magnitude 6.4 quake struck early on Saturday as people were sleeping.

Reports suggest at least four buildings have come down, including a high-rise residential building. More than 100 people have so far been rescued.

President Ma Ying-jeou is on his way to Tainan, a city of two million people.

The quake was shallow, meaning its effects would have been amplified, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Television pictures show rescue workers frantically trying to reach people trapped in collapsed buildings, using ladders to climb over piles of rubble.

Taiwan’s official news agency said at least 23 people had been injured in the multi-storey residential building, where about 200 people were believed to be living in about 60 households.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image copyright
AFP/Getty

Image copyright
AP

Tainan resident Emma told BBC World News people feared further tremors.

“I felt the quake, it was terrible,” she said.

Pictures on social media show an eight-storey block in the process of collapsing.

There are also reports of power outages.

Saturday’s quake was felt in the capital Taipei 300 km (200 miles) away and there have since been several aftershocks.

A 7.6 magnitude quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and often sees tremors.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

This eight-storey building was captured in the process of collapsing

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

The earthquake was shallow, according US geographers, which would have amplified its effects


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