Strong Taiwan earthquake traps people and derails a train
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A strong earthquake shook much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, stranding about 400 tourists on a mountainside, and knocking part of a passenger train off its tracks.
The extent 6.8 tremor was the biggest among handfuls that have shaken the island’s southeastern coast since Saturday night, when a 6.4 shudder struck a similar region. There were no prompt reports of serious wounds.
Most of the damage appeared to be north of the epicenter, which Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said was in the town of Chishang at the relatively shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles).
The three-story building, which had a 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor and residences on the upper ones, collapsed in nearby Yuli town, the island’s Central News Agency said.
The 70-year-old proprietor of the structure and his significant other were saved first, however it took more time to get to a 39-year-elderly person and her 5-year-old little girl.
A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket and being handed down a metal ladder from the top of the debris by helmeted rescue workers in orange uniforms.
The top two stories of the building were left sprawled across a small street and onto the other side, with electricity wires pulled down by the fallen structure.
More than 7,000 households were reported without power in Yuli, and water pipes were also damaged.
Police and firemen hurried to a scaffold breakdown on a two-path street in what gave off an impression of being a rustic piece of similar town where three individuals and at least one vehicles might have tumbled off, as per media reports.
Also in Yuli, a landslide trapped nearly 400 tourists on a mountain famous for the orange day lilies that blanket its slopes this time of year, the Central News Agency said. They had no electricity and a weak cellphone signal.
Flotsam and jetsam from a falling covering on a stage at Dongli station in Fuli town, which is among Yuli and the focal point at Chishang, hit a passing train, wrecking six vehicles, the Focal News Office said, refering to the rail route organization. The 20 travelers were not really harmed.
The shaking was felt at the north end of the island in the capital, Taipei. In Taoyuan city, west of Taipei and 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the epicenter, a man was injured by a ceiling collapse on the 5th floor of a sports center.
The Japan Meteorological Office gave a tidal wave warning for a few southern Japanese islands close to Taiwan, however later lifted it.