Death toll reaches 38 in Taiwan earthquake

More than 100 people are missing two days after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake killed at least 38 in southern Taiwan, while three people were rescued alive, authorities said Monday.

Li Zong-dian, who was found by search teams on Sunday, was rescued Monday morning after being trapped for 55 hours, the state-run Central News Agency reported.

Li was immediately sent to hospital to have his lower left leg amputated.

"Mr Li was found under steel beams. When I talked to Mr Li, he remained conscious," Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te told reporters.

A woman, Tsao Wei-ling, was also rescued Monday morning, and an 8-year-old girl surnamed Lin was rescued in the afternoon, SET TV reported. 

More than 530 people were injured in Tainan City during the quake and more than 100 people are still missing, according to figures from the Central Emergency Operation Centre.

The quake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57 am Saturday (1957 GMT Friday).

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

Search efforts continued at the site Monday, but rescue crews had difficulty reaching people trapped inside, local media reported.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said the death toll could exceed 100 as many people remained trapped in the collapsed building, CNA reported.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who will be sworn in on May 20, visited some of the injured on Monday, the first day of the new lunar year.

"This has been a very sombre Lunar New Year," Tsai was quoted as saying by CNA.

Tsai said the future government’s priorities include reviewing the safety of buildings nationwide and coming up with urban renewal projects.

Authorities suspect shoddy construction could explain why the building did not withstand the earthquake, and they have launched an investigation.

In September 1999, Taiwan was hit by a magnitude-7.3 earthquake, which left more than 2,400 people dead.

Last update: Mon, 08/02/2016 - 11:46
Author: 

More from World

Tunisian leader tells Islamists not to fear Trump

The leader of Tunisia’s main Islamist movement, Rachid Ghannounchi, said Saturday that Islamists should not be...

Two suspected militants blow themselves up during Saudi police raid

Two suspected terrorists blew themselves up by detonating explosive belts during a police raid in Saudi Arabia's...

Bodies of 89 suspected Islamic State victims found in Iraq mass grave

The bodies of 89 people, thought to be soldiers killed by Islamic State jihadists, were found in a mass grave in...

Indians form 'longest human chain' to protest alcohol use in Bihar

Millions of people in India's eastern state of Bihar joined hands on Saturday to demonstrate against alcohol...

Activist: 5 killed in bombing at Syrian refugee camp on Jordan border

Five people were killed in a car bombing targeting a Syrian refugee camp near the border with Jordan on Saturday, a...