Strong earthquake kills five in Taiwan, several injured

At least five people including an infant were killed and dozens injured when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, authorities said.

A 17-storey apartment building collapsed in Tainan City's Yungkang district. It was said to be home to about 200 people in 60 households, state-run Central News Agency reported.

Several other buildings in Tainan collapsed or were damaged by the quake that struck at 03:57 am.

A Central Emergency Operation Center official four people, including a 10-month old girl, were killed in the collapsed apartment building.

Li Wei-sen also said a 56-year-old woman was killed in another district of Tainan by a water tank that toppled from the roof of a building.

He said more than 350 injured people were taken to hospitals in southern Taiwan, and the number was increasing.

Emergency crews worked in the darkness to rescue people trapped in rubble. A city official said 16 buildings in Tainan were collapsed or seriously damaged. 

"It was horrible. I was so scared and jumped up from my bed immediately," 46-year-old Carol Chen, a Tainan resident who lives near the collapsed high-rise, said by phone.

Chen ran out of her building and saw many neighbours who all looked terrified, she said.

"I feel the quake was even more terrible than the big one I've experienced in 1999," Chen said.

The high-speed rail service was suspended in the southern region due to the earthquake. 

The effects of the quake were felt throughout the island. It also surprised the entertainer Madonna, who is on tour with her band in Taiwan.

"We are all ok ... Hope that was the end of it," her manager Guy Oseary wrote on Instagram from Taipei.

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

President Ma Ying-jeou visited disaster areas in Tainan Saturday.

Last update: Sat, 06/02/2016 - 06:35
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