Tainan is still coming to terms with the shocking aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit Taiwan’s oldest city. At least 2 people are killed, 221 people rescued and 115 people hospitalized so far. Many are still feared to have been trapped inside the rubbles from a collapsed building.
CNN reports that more than a 1500 people are involved in rescue efforts, which are hampered by the lack of water and electricity in the city after the earthquake. It is still unclear as to how many people are trapped inside the 17-storeyed collapsed residential building. The building is known to house at least 60 households in its apartments. CNBC estimates that there might be 240 people in the minimum making up those 60 households.
Tainan’s Central Weather Bureau has reported of about five aftershocks of 3.8-magnitude or more that shook Tainan about half an hour after the initial quake. The earthquake which hit Tainan early on Saturday had a magnitude 6.4. According to the US Geological Survey, it was centred 27 miles (43 km) southeast of Tainan. The earthquake was shallow at depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), thereby leading to such amplified effects.
According to DailyMail rescue operations have already started and they appear to be concentrated on the residential blocks in the Wei Guan area of the city. Firefighters were seen hosing down a part of the building to prevent a fire, while others used ladders and a cranes to enter the upper floors. The rescue teams are also requesting onlookers to not block their way and slow down rescue efforts. Some of the citizens and news outlets have posted photos of the deadly after effects of this quake that shook Taiwan.
The city has now set up a full-fledged emergency response centre to aid rescue efforts. CNBC states that even though Tainan’s City Government has briefed Reuters about the emergency response center, there is still not much information available about the extent of damage resulting from this massive earthquake.
Taiwan’s outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou is said to be on his way to the city.