Five killed, buildings damaged in Taiwan quake

2016-02-06 05:04:35 GMT2016-02-06 13:04:35(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TAIPEI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- An earthquake in southern Taiwan early on Saturday morning damaged several buildings, causing the collapse of at least one and leaving at least five people dead, according to the island's disaster response authorities.

By 10:40 a.m., rescuers had evacuated 225 people from the quake zone and rushed 58 of them to hospitals.

Among those killed are a 10-day-old baby girl and a 40-year-old man.

By 8 a.m, 221 people had been rescued from the collapsed 17-storey Wei Guan building in Yongkang District of Tainan, said the city's disaster response center.

According to initial investigation, a total of 256 people were registered as living inside the high-rise in 92 households.

The Chinese mainland has offered to help Taiwan following the quake.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said the the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) had been in contact with Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) since 6 a.m., around two hours after the quake. The ARATS has sent a letter to the SEF offering rescue assistance if needed.

Ma expressed concern and condolences for the victims.

The mainland's Red Cross Society has also offered 2 million yuan (304,268 U.S. dollars) of disaster relief funds to Taiwan.

The earthquake hit Kaohsiung of Taiwan at a depth of 15 km at 3:57 a.m. Beijing Time on Saturday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center, which said the quake had a magnitude of 6.7. The epicenter was monitored at 22.94 degrees north latitude and 120.54 degrees east longitude.

Taiwan's earthquake monitoring center put the scale of the quake at 6.4-magnitude, saying it was centered about 27 km northeast of Pingtung county seat.

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