More than 100 people were missing a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake killed at least 34 in southern Taiwan, authorities said Sunday.

Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen, who heads the Central Emergency Operation Centre, said all emergency crews would continue to search for survivors, state-run Central News Agency reported.

The death toll in the southern city of Tainan climbed to 34 and an estimated 500 people were injured, according to the emergency centre.

Ninety-two victims were still being treated in hospitals and 119 people remained missing, it reported.

President Ma Ying-jeou said at the emergency centre that the government will continue rescue operations and also focus on long-term reconstruction work.

"In the wake of the deadly earthquake, we clearly know that we still have a lot to improve the public safety," Ma said.

Most of the missing people were in the 17-storey apartment building that collapsed in the city's Yungkang district.

Authorities suspect shoddy construction could be the reason the building did not hold up in the quake that struck at 3:57 am Saturday (1957 GMT Friday).

The search for survivors lasted through the night. A 14-year-old girl was rescued after being trapped under debris for 27 hours, the Apple Daily reported.

"It hurts incredibly. Come help me quickly. I'm dying," the girl, who was stuck in debris, said to rescuers in video footage shown on SET TV.

Emergency crews found signs of life in the rubble in the morning and successfully rescued six people from the collapsed building, CNA reported. A 32-year-old man was able to crawl out, and asked the rescuers to reach his girlfriend and family trapped inside.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said search efforts had slowed because emergency crews had to carefully remove the rubble by hand, in order not to hurt possible survivors, Apple Daily reported.

Lai arrived at the site with a Japanese team of volunteers, local media reported.

Lai said that it was not easy to confirm the number of the missing and maybe more than 100 people were at the very bottom of the large collapsed residential complex.

"However, based on reports filed by residents, we now target 18 places for 63 residents trapped under rubble," Lai was quoted as saying by Apple Daily.

Prime Minister Chang San-cheng also visited injured people in hospitals.

Sunday is the eve of the Lunar New Year, and Chang expressed his condolences to the families of victims. In Taiwan, the biggest event of the day is the reunion dinner with relatives.

The collapsed apartment building was home to about 250 people in 96 households, according to the emergency Centre. But headcounts of survivors showed that more than 300 people were inside at the time of the quake.

The number of people in the building may have swelled ahead of the holiday, when families typically host guests or relatives from other parts of Taiwan.

High-speed rail services that had been suspended in the southern region since the earthquake were scheduled to return to normal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his deepest sympathies for the families of the victims, CCTV reported.

Related stories

23 dead, dozens missing after earthquake in Taiwan

Death toll from Taiwan earthquake reaches more than 100

Strong earthquake topples buildings in Taiwan, killing 11

Death toll reaches 38 in Taiwan earthquake

Magnitude-6.4 earthquake shakes Taiwan, damage reported

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.