More than 80 people missing after Taiwan earthquake

More than 80 people missing after Taiwan earthquake
From CBC - February 7, 2018

Rescuers were working Wednesday to try to reach people who were trapped after a strong earthquake near Taiwan's east coast caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. At least sixpeople were killed and 88missing in the quake.

Video footage and photos showed several mid-sized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaning at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, shattered glass, bent iron beams and other debris. Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments.

The shallow, magnitude-6.4 quake that struck late Tuesday night caused at least four buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously.

A maintenance worker who was rescued after being trapped in the basement of the Marshal Hotel, whose ground floor had caved in, said the force of the earthquake was unusual.

'It was really scary'

"At first it was not that big.... We get this sort of thing all the time and it's really nothing. But then it got really terrifying," the worker, Chen Ming-hui, told Taiwan's official Central News Agency after he was reunited with his son and grandson following the quake. "It was really scary."

One employee of the hotel was killed in the disaster, CNA said. Taiwan's National Fire Agency said rescuers freed another employee from the rubble, while a third hotel worker was also freed but did not show any vital signs.

Other buildings shifted on their foundations and rescuers used ladders, ropes and cranes to get residents to safety.

Sixpeople were killed in the quake, while 256others were injured and 88unaccounted for, according to the fire agency.

16 foreigners sent to hospital

The force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households, the fire agency said.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said nine Japanese were among the injured. CNA reported that 16 foreigners were sent to various hospitals with injuries.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen moved to reassure the Taiwanese public that every effort would be made to look for survivors. In a post on her official Facebook page, Tsai said she arrived in Hualien on Wednesday to review rescue efforts.

Tsai said she "ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind."

40 of the missing from 1 apartment building

Airport, rail links unaffected

Ring of Fire


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