Rescuers race to find survivors of strong Taiwan quake.

Rescuers Race to Find Survivors After Taiwan Quake Kills More Than 12

Rescuers Race to Find Survivors After Taiwan Quake Kills More Than 12

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Feb. 6 2016 9:16 AM

Rescuers Race to Find Survivors After Taiwan Quake Kills More Than 12

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Rescue personnel search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building on February 6, 2016 in Tainan, Taiwan.

Photo by Ashley Pon/Getty Images

More than 100 people remain missing after a powerful 6.4 earthquake shook southern Taiwan early in the morning and caused a high-rise apartment building to collapse in Tainan. At least 11 of the dead and 30 of the missing were from the 17-floor apartment building that had 256 registered residents, although authorities think more people could have been inside due to upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations.

The apartment building "first starting shaking horizontally, then up and down, then a big shake right to left," Tainan resident Lin Bao-gui, who lives across the street, told the Associated Press. "I stayed in my bed but jumped up when I heard the big bang that was the sound of the building falling.”

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Rescue personnel work at the site of a collapsed building in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan on February 6, 2016 following a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake.

Photo by SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

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Although Taiwan is used to earthquakes, lying in the seismically active area known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” this one was particularly shallow meaning its effects were felt more strongly. There have been at least five aftershocks.

“This was strong enough to not only be felt here in the [Taiwanese] capital city of Taipei but also in the southern provinces of China,” Elise Hu, an NPR correspondent who was in Taipei, told CNN. “Taiwan is very used to earthquakes and tremors, but this is far more significant than the island has seen in quite a while.”

While rescuers continued to try to find survivors, many immediately began raising questions about whether poor construction was to blame for the collapse of the building. The government vowed to investigate.

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A survivor is lifted from a collapsed building on February 6, 2016 in Tainan, Taiwan.

Photo by Ashley Pon/Getty Images

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.