Earthquake Rocks Thailand, 6 Reported Dead


Southern Taiwanese city of Tainan was hit with a shallow earthquake of 6.4 magnitudes during the early hours of Saturday. According to the latest reports, around six people are dead including an infant and an old man, with the rescuers pulling out other 221 people from the rubbles.

According to Taiwan’s official news agency, the infant and the man were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building and that both were later declared dead. The agency said 256 people were believed to be living in 92 households. A second 16-story high-rise also collapsed in the same way and fell on its side, and more than 30 survivors have been pulled out from there.

The temblor struck about 4 am local time (2000 GMT Friday), when most people were asleep. The quake’s epicenter is estimated to be at 22 miles (36 kilometres) southeast of Yujing, and struck about six miles (10 kilometres) underground, according to the US Geological Survey.

Military personnel were seen marching into one area of collapse carrying large shovels. The Taiwanese news website ET Today reported that a mother and a daughter were among the survivors pulled from the Wei Guan building and that the girl drank her urine while waiting for rescue, which came sooner than expected. Newscasters said other areas of the city were still being canvassed for possible damage.

In the capital Taipei, which is on the other side of the island, the quake was lengthy and rolling shake. But Taipei was quiet, with no sense of emergency or obvious damage just before dawn. Residents in mainland China also reported that the tremor was felt there. Earthquakes frequently hit Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage.