Rescuers raced to find survivors after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday, collapsing a high-rise residential complex and killing at least seven people, sending scores to hospital and leaving about a couple dozen missing.
Rescuers pulled 247 survivors from the rubble in the worst-hit Tainan city. More than 1,200 firefighters scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of a 17-floor residential building that folded like an accordion in a pile of rubble and twisted metal.
Local media said the building included a care center for newborns and mothers, and a newborn was among the dead in the disaster, which came two days ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations that are the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar.
Most people were caught asleep when the 6.4-magnitude temblor struck about 4 a.m. local time (2000 GMT Friday). It hit some 22 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of Yujing, and struck about 6 miles (10 kilometers) underground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
“If first starting shaking horizontally, then up and down, then a big shake right to left,” said Tainan resident Lin Bao-gui, a second-hand car salesman whose cars were smashed when the residential complex across the street from him collapsed.
Read more: Fox News