Monday, 19 February, 2018

Rescuers continue to search for missing people in Taiwan natural disaster

According to reports death toll from four yesterday already rose to 10 as rescuers rake through the collapsed establishments to search for more than a dozen people still missing More than 140 people missing after Taiwan earthquake
Ray Hunter | 10 February, 2018, 09:50

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by the magnitude-6.4 natural disaster that struck on Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hualien county, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

A four-year-old golden labrador whose name translates to "Iron Hero", worked through risky aftershocks to search for survivors after the 6.4-magnitude temblor struck the city of Hualien, killing 10 people.

Rescuers are still searching for five Chinese and two Canadians of Hong Kong origin at the 12-story Yun Men Tsui Ti building, which is leaning at a steep angle after its first three lower levels collapsed.

The 12 victims include four from Chinese mainland, five from Taiwan, one from the Philippines and two from Canada.

He said the people who answered his calls were mostly very friendly and would tell him "Thank you for your hard work", which he said warmed his heart.

As the fight against time gets crucial in finding survivors of Taiwan's quake, rescue dogs are now being used more. She worked as a household helper, reports said.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, also injured 243 people and collapsed four buildings, officials said.

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"As he encourages the civil authorities and emergency personnel engaged in rescue efforts, His Holiness willingly invokes upon all the Taiwanese people the divine blessings of strength and peace", the message read.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited Thursday with people sheltering in schools and other sites as a safeguard against repeated aftershocks.

"We hope local people will overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date", he said.

Bridges and some highways along Taiwan's east coast were closed pending inspections.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes due to its position along the "Ring of Fire", the seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean.

Five people were later found guilty over the disaster, including the developer and two architects, for building an inadequate structure.

More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, and some Taiwanese remain scarred by a 7.6 magnitude quake that was felt across the island and killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.

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