Strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake topples buildings in Taiwan
Rescue workers guide a man from the rubble of a toppled building after an earthquake in Tainan. (Photo: AP)
Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people from two residential high-rises that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside.
The temblor struck about 4 am. It was located some 22 miles (36 kilometers) southeast of Yujing.
Cranes were being used to search darkened parts of the structure for survivors.
Several other buildings also were collapsed or partially damaged, while dozens were rescued from a market and another seven-floor building, the Central News Agency reported.
Rescue workers also pulled out others from the second Wei Guan high-rise, which had 16 floors and housed 150 families.
The road where the building is located had gas leaks and water pipe ruptures, the news agency said.
Newscasters said other areas of the city were still being canvassed for possible damage.
Men in camouflage uniforms, apparently military personnel, marched into one area of collapse carrying large shovels.
The trappings of daily life - a partially crushed air conditioner, pieces of a metal balcony, windows - lay twisted in rubble.
As dawn broke, live Taiwanese TV showed survivors being brought gingerly from the high-rise buildings.
People with their arms around firefighters were being helped from the building.
"I saw buildings shake up and down and left and right,"
said one resident.
Rescuers have freed more than 200 people from the
Wei-kuan building, with over 40 of them hospitalised.