Taiwan earthquake: At least 11 dead as quake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale demolishes buildings in Tainan city

The quake on Saturday has leveled at least four buildings including one high-rise apartment block

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The Independent Online

At least 11 people have died and dozens more injured after an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale hit the Taiwanese city of Tainan, demolishing residential buildings and trapping people under the rubble. 

The quake on Saturday has levelled at least four buildings including one high-rise apartment block, causing power outages, and could be felt 300 km away in the capital Taipei, where aftershocks have been reported.  

The emergency response centre said seven people were killed when the Wei Guan residential tower collapsed, including a 10-day-old infant, a small child, and at least two other residents.

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Rescue personnel search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building on 6 February, 2016 in Tainan, Taiwan

Emergency rescue teams pulled 249 survivors from the rubble, although eight remain unaccounted for.

Camera crews filmed their efforts using ladders to scale the mountains of rubble while social media was gripped by the collapsing eight-storey block.  

Questions were being raised as to whether the construction crew had cut corners when building the Wei Guan residential complex, which was finished in 1989.

The interior minister, Chen Wei-zen, said an investigation would examine if the developer had skirted requirements.

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Rescue personnel search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building on 6 February, 2016 in Tainan, Taiwan

Taiwan is on the cross of two tectonic plates and often sees tremors.

The quake was one of the biggest since 1999, when an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale killed more than 2,300 people.

Additional reporting by AP

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