At least 38 people have been killed in Taiwan earthquake while rescuers were searching for survivors more than 48 hours after the quake struck.
Many people are still buried in the rubble from a disaster that struck during the most important holiday in Chinese calendar. About 300 have been rescued across Tainan including 170 from the crushed building. Dozens of them were sent to hospitals.
Nearly 500 people have been injured as a result of the magnitude 6.4 earthquake. The powerful quake hit before dawn on Saturday. Tainan was the worst-hit city as the 17-story building crumpled, one of the eleven buildings collapsed in the city.
In the aftermath, at least five aftershocks were also felt. Hundreds of rescue workers scrambled to the incident site to save the trapped citizens. They dispatched sniffer dogs to locate survivors while cranes were also involved in the rescue effort.
Most of the casualties have been reported inside the Weiguan Jinlong building in Tainan City, southern Taiwan. According to the residents, more than 300 were inside the apartment complex at the time of collapse.
The Taiwanese government urged to open an investigation into the building’s collapse when the operation ends. Earlier on Sunday, emergency workers spotted tin cans in the walls of the toppled complex. They appear to have been used as construction fillers in beams.
Taiwan earthquake struck as the nation prepared to celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is one of the country’s biggest holidays and some people have as many as nine days off. Taiwanese President has subdued the Chinese New Year ceremony to oversee rescue and recovery operations at the national disaster headquarters.
Taiwan lies in the so-called “Ring of Fire,” an area in the Pacific Ocean near the junction of two tectonic plates. The intense movement of these plates causes frequent tremors. IMAGE/Associated Press