What we know so far
A powerful earthquake has toppled a 17-storey apartment block in southern Taiwan, killing at least five people, including a 10-year-old girl.
It triggered frantic efforts to rescue about 35 people feared trapped inside.
The baby and three of the other dead were from the collapsed building, a complex of towers whose floors pancaked down onto each other when the 6.4 magnitude tremor hit at around 4 a.m. local time, at the start of a Lunar New Year holiday.
6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Taiwan, centered 22 miles southeast of Yujing: https://t.co/1FoXC1Ufwe— The Associated Press (@AP) February 5, 2016
Rescuers mounted hydraulic ladders and a crane to scour the wreckage, plucking 221 survivors to safety so far, with dozens taken to hospital, according to a fire brigade official.
Aerial: Damage after strong earthquake hits Taiwan https://t.co/4BNfPYBKdx— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 6, 2016
Elsewhere in the city of two-million people, several buildings titled at alarming angles.
6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Kaohsiung of Taiwan at 03:57 a.m. Beijing Time on Saturday pic.twitter.com/NwOM24qJab— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) February 6, 2016
Survivors recall terror
“The building was shaking violently,” one man said, “the stairs was broken, so we went out from the window of the second floor.”
A woman added: “We were scared when our bodies leaned with the building, as we were sleeping.”
The quake was centred 27 miles (43 kilometres) southeast of Tainan, at a depth of 23 kilometres (14 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.
Several aftershocks shook Tainan, said Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.
Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits southern Taiwan: USGS https://t.co/h0s6eeqMRa via Reuters— brendan hurley (@tsdpb) February 5, 2016
President to visit disaster areas
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, speaking to reporters in the capital before leaving for the disaster scene, said authorities were not clear on the extent of the disaster.
“We will do our utmost to rescue and secure (survivors),” said Ma.
Deadly Earthquake Shakes Taiwan https://t.co/udXQrKytty— Newsweek Europe (@NewsweekEurope) February 6, 2016
Taiwan’s earthquake risk
Taiwan lies in the seismically active “Pacific Ring of Fire” zone. In 1999, it was struck by a magnitude 7.7 quake that killed more than 2,400 people. .