Five killed in Taiwan quake

Taipei, Feb 6 (IANS) At least five people were killed on Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan, the island nation’s disaster response centre said.

More than 200 people were rescued from damaged structures, many from a 17-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan city’s Yongkang district, officials told CNN.

The victims included a 10-day old infant who was killed when the high-rise building collapsed.

More than 150 people in Tainan were hospitalised, disaster officials said.

The earthquake with a depth of 16.7 km, was centred about 48 km east-southeast of Tainan, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake was also felt in the capital Taipei 300 km away from Tainan and several aftershocks were also reported.

A total of 121,672 homes and businesses were without power in Tainan.

Taiwan’s outgoing President, Ma Ying-jeou promised an “all-out effort” to rescue people when he arrived in Tainan which is Taiwan’s oldest city with a population of 1.9 million people.

Shelters would be set up for those who had lost their homes in the city of two million people, he said.

A 7.6 magnitude quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and often experience tremors.

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