TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Rescuers were working Wednesday to reach five people trapped and more than 140 people unaccounted for in several buildings damaged by a strong earthquake near Taiwan’s eastern coast.
The shallow, magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night caused at least four buildings in worst-hit Hualien County to cave in and tilt dangerously, killing four people.
Video footage and photos showed several midsized buildings leaning at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, shattered glass, bent iron beams and other debris. Firefighters could be seen climbing ladders hoisted against windows as they sought to reach residents inside apartments, AP reported.
The quake injured 225 people, two dozen of them critically, in Hualien County, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported. The force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households, the National Fire Agency said.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen moved to reassure the Taiwanese public that every effort would be made to look for survivors. In a post on her official Facebook page, Tsai said she arrived in Hualien Wednesday to review rescue efforts.
Tsai said she “ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind.”
“This is when the Taiwanese people show their calm, resilience and love,” she wrote. “The government will work with everyone to guard their homeland.”
The official news agency said all but two of the 145 people who could not be reached might be in the Yunmen Cuiti building, a 12-story apartment building, though it said it did not immediately have an estimate of how many were trapped.
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Tasnim News Agency