Taiwan – A 6.4 earthquake left devastation and at least two people dead in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan, according to the country’s Disaster Response. Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that the people dead were a 10-day-old girl and a 40-year-old man.

At least 4 buildings came down including a high-rise, 17 stories tall, residential building. The search team, according to BBC News, has rescued more than 120 people. It is unclear how many people are actually trapped inside the fallen buildings.

26 people have been hospitalized and seven more at a market were also transported to get medical help. There are more than 100 rescuers on the scene, said an official from Tainan City Fire Department.

Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake in Tainan. Photo: Reuters

The earthquake hit at 3:57 a.m. on Saturday and was particularly bad because it was very shallow, approximately six miles underground, and the epicenter was on the island, instead of offshore, said U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso to Los Angeles Times. He added that people felt the natural disaster as far away as Mainland China.

Taiwan President, Ma Ying-Jeou, is planning to visit the Tainan rescue center at 9:30 a.m. local time, to oversee the quake rescue, according to a text message from the presidential office.

People like Derek Hoerler, an elementary school teacher originally from California, were pulled out from their sleep with a “violent shaking”, he said. “It was not a rolling gentle earthquake, but a violent jerking motion. The walls were shaking and you could hear the building and windows moving,” Hoerler commented.

He also said that the shaking lasted at least a minute with swaying afterwards. The Taiwan’s earthquake was the strongest he had ever felt, even coming from California, he added.

The epicenter of the disaster was underneath the central mountain range of Taiwan, about 27 miles southeast of Tainan and 24 miles northeast of Kaohsiung, the island’s main port city.

Source: Los Angeles Times