February 06, 2016 10:29
A strong earthquake struck southern Taiwan near the city of Tainan Saturday, collapsing at least one building and raising fears that residents could be trapped inside. So far there have been no reports of causalities.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the epicenter of the shallow 6.4 magnitude quake was located nearly 43 km southeast of Tainan, a city of nearly two million people. It began shaking buildings around 4 a.m. local time.
According to reports from Taiwan's Formosa TV, at least three buildings either partially or completely collapsed during the quake. At one building, voices could be heard from inside a toppled 16-storey building. Local rescue officials say they have rescued at least 123 of the residents. Taiwan's Central News Agency has reported the building has at least 150 residents.
Rescue workers were seen climbing on top of the building, which had fallen on its side and stretched across a major street in Tainan. At another partially collapsed building, reports say that at least 30 residents had been rescued and are safe.
It is unclear whether all residents had been rescued from inside the building.
Taiwan is located in a highly active fault zone known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire." In 1999, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck near in Jiji, Nantou County killed more than 2,400 people.
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