Taiwan earthquake death toll reaches double digits

By Daniel Uria   |   Feb. 6, 2016 at 8:25 AM

TAINAN, Taiwan, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Rescue workers are continuing the search for survivors after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan Saturday morning, leaving at least 11 dead and 475 people injured when several buildings collapsed.

More than 200 people have already been rescued and 60 remain in the hospital after the powerful earthquake struck 20 miles from the coast of Tainan. A 10-day-old girl and 40-year-old man were among those reported dead.

NBC News reports that at least 150 people remain missing, likely stranded under debris.

The rescue efforts centered around a 17-story residential complex with 256 people and almost 100 homes. Families had gathered at the building and others across the country to celebrate Chinese New Year.

"If you can imagine something like this happening during Thanksgiving holiday weekend or Christmas travel, that's the equivalent of what's happening here in Taiwan right now," NPR correspondent Elis Hu told CNN.

At least five other buildings in neighboring areas collapsed or had severe structural damage that left them tilting at various angles.

According to the BBC at least five aftershocks were reported after the initial quake, which was felt in Taipei and even parts of China.

At least 900,000 homes across Taiwan were without power, while another 400,000 faced water outages.

Nearby countries have offered help and condolences to Taiwan. China sent a letter offering assistance if needed. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also offered help to Taiwan and sent his condolences for those affected by the quake.

"I am saddened to hear about the extensive damage. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to those who died and offer deepest sympathies to the afflicted," he said.

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