|Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake struck at 4am on Saturday south of Tainan, southern Taiwan|
February 5, 2016 - TAIWAN - Dozens are feared dead after two residential high rises collapsed following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan.
Officials in the southern city of Tainan have already pulled three bodies from the rubble, including an infant girl, but there are potentially hundreds still trapped underneath the concrete.
Between them, the 17 and 16-storey blocks may have been home to as many as 600 people, more than half of whom are missing.
The initial quake, which struck just before 4am, was very shallow, at depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), which would have amplified its effects, the United States Geographical Survey said.
It was followed least five aftershocks of 3.8-magnitude or more, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.
Rescue efforts appeared to be concentrating on the residential blocks in the Wei Guan area of the city, where some 221 people have been rescued so far, 115 needing hospitalisation, and two in critical condition.
Taiwan's Formosa TV showed images of police, firefighters and some troops in camouflage uniforms at the site of the 17-storey building, where the cries of some residents trapped inside could be heard.
The firefighters were hosing down part of the building to prevent a fire, while others used ladders and a crane to enter the upper floors.
The building appeared to have collapsed onto the first story where a child's clothes were visible fluttering on a laundry line.
|124 people have so far been rescued from the rubble of the collapsed buildings, but there are thought to be almost 100 still missing|
|The earthquake was followed least five aftershocks of 3.8-magnitude or more, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau|
|Multiple buildings, including a 17-story residential tower, have
collapsed after a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck |
southern Taiwan early on Saturday. Authorities in the affected city have formed an emergency response center.
|Rescuers climb up the mangled ruins of the apartment block to reach people trapped on the higher floors|
|Some 221 people were rescued within four hours of the earthquake, 115 needing hospitalisation, and two in critical condition|
A second residential block may have had as many as 400 people inside it when it collapsed on Saturday morning
Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed early on Saturday morning
A major rescue effort was underway following the 6.9 magnitude quake, which struck at 4am Taiwan time
Rescue personnel work at a damaged building - possibly an office block - in the hours after quake
The city has set up an emergency response centre to deal with the disaster
'Multiple' buildings - including at least one residential block - are said to have fallen following the quake
So far about 30 people have been saved from the rubble and no fatalities have been reported
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected
Among the survivors, Taiwan's official news agency said, were a 10-day-old infant and a 40-year-old man, both found in critical condition. A total of 127 people have been pulled out alive, at least 29 of them injured.
'There are 60 households in that building,' said Tainan City Government Fire Bureau information officer Lee Po Min, estimating that there might be about 240 people living there.
Just 34 people have been pulled out of the second residential building so far, among them a mother and a daughter. It is reported the girl drank her urine while waiting for rescue, which came sooner than expected.
It said the building could have 300 to 400 people at the time of the quake.
Liu Shih-chung, an official with the Tainan City Government, said the city had set up an emergency response centre as it tried to cope with the disaster.
One Tainan resident told MailOnline: 'The water supply has been cut off and the hospitals are full. It's pretty horrendous. Some people are trapped in collapsed buildings. Three have died so far.
WATCH: Scenes from Taiwan following the earthquake.
'This has also taken place just before Chinese New Year, which starts on Sunday.'
'I hugged the wall and put my face to the wall,' Pao-feng Wu, a Tainan resident, said after the quake hit.
The centre was located some 22 miles (36 kilometres) south-east of Yujing, and was felt as a lengthy, rolling shake in the capital, Taipei, on the other side of the island.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
A strong 6.3-magnitude quake which hit central Taiwan in June 2013 killed four people and caused widespread landslides.
A 7.6-magnitude quake struck the island in September 1999 and killed around 2,400 people. - Daily Mail.