End Times News Update
Sign: Earthquakes (6.4m)
Scripture: Matthew 24:7
News Source: AP
Quake fells Taiwan apartment building, at least five dead
TAINAN, Taiwan | By Faith Hung and Pichi Chuang
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern
Taiwan before dawn Saturday, collapsing two high-rise residential
towers and killing at least five people and injuring hundreds. More
than 220 people were pulled out from rubble, as rescuers raced against
time to find dozens of others unaccounted for.
Firefighters and soldiers in worst-hit Tainan city scrambled with
ladders, cranes and other equipment to the two towers that folded like
an accordion in a pile of rubble and twisted metal and extracted dazed
Local media said the building complex included a care center for
newborns and mothers.
The emergency response center told The Associated Press that five
people were killed, including a 10-day-old infant and a 40-year-old
man. They were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building
and later declared dead.
Local media said a woman was killed in a water tower collapse in
another city district, and no information was immediately available
for the two other deaths. The Health Ministry reported 318 people have
One of the two towers was home to 256 people living in 92 units,
according to the official Central News Agency. A second 16-story
high-rise nearby also collapsed, and more than 30 survivors have been
pulled out from there. It wasn’t clear how many others were still
The news website ET Today reported that a mother and a daughter were
among the survivors from the Wei Guan building, and that the girl
drank her urine while waiting for rescue, which came sooner than
Dozens more people have been rescued or safely evacuated from a market
and a seven-floor building that was badly damaged, the news agency
reported. A bank building also careened, but no injuries were
reported, it said.
Most people were caught asleep when temblor struck about 4 a.m. local
time (2000 GMT Friday). It was located some 22 miles (36 kilometers)
southeast of Yujing, and struck about 6 miles (10 kilometers)
underground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
As dawn broke, live Taiwanese TV showed survivors being brought
gingerly from the high-rise, including an elderly woman in a neck
brace and others wrapped in blankets. The trappings of daily life – a
partially crushed air conditioner, pieces of a metal balcony, windows
– lay twisted in rubble.
People with their arms around firefighters were being helped from the
building, and cranes were being used to search darkened parts of the
structure for survivors. Newscasters said other areas of the city were
still being canvassed for possible damage.
Men in camouflage, apparently military personnel, marched into one
area of collapse carrying large shovels.
The quake was felt as a lengthy, rolling shake in the capital, Taipei,
on the other side of the island. 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.
Questions started to rise if the construction crew had cut corners
when building the Wei Guan residential complex that was finished in
1989. The Home Department minister said an investigation would examine
if the developer skirted requirements.
Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause
little or no damage.
However, a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed
more than 2,300 people.