Nine Dead, 10 Still Missing in Aftermath of Taiwan Earthquake

from Voice of America
Published on 08 Feb 2018 View Original

Last Updated: February 08, 2018 6:31 AM
VOA News

Search and rescue crews in eastern Taiwan continue to dig through the wreckage of an apartment complex that partially collapsed in a strong earthquake Tuesday.

Officials with the island's National Fire Agency on Thursday revised the death toll downward from 10 to nine people, and have cut the number of missing and unaccounted for from nearly 60 people to 10. At least three of those killed were from the Chinese mainland.

The 12-story Yun Men Tsui Ti building in the popular tourist destination of Hualien was left teetering at a dangerous angle by the 6.4 magnitude quake. The search for survivors in the tilted structure was slowed by more than 100 aftershocks throughout Wednesday, sending rescue crews rushing out of the rubble to safety.

More than 250 people were injured in Tuesday’s quake, and at least 60 people are missing. At least three of those killed were from the Chinese mainland. At least three other high-rise buildings were left partially toppled and leaning precariously, including the Marshal Hotel, where at least two people were killed.

More than 800 residents slept in emergency shelters overnight, many of them fearful of returning home amid the aftershocks. The quake split roads in half and caused them to buckle, initially leaving about 40,000 homes without water, and nearly 2,000 others without power.

Taiwan sits near a junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

Tuesday’s earthquake happened on the second anniversary of a 6.4-magnitude tremor that killed 117 people. More than 2,000 people were killed by 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck central Taiwan in 1999.