Taiwan Hit By 6.4-Magnitude Earthquake; 4 Killed, 100 Hospitalized

A powerful earthquake killed today at least 4 people including a 10-day-old new born girl child and a 40-year-old man in Taiwan after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit early Saturday at 3:57 in the morning.

Several buildings toppled in Tainan, one of the oldest cities of the island. One of the buildings was residential and was of seventeen stories. Search for survivors is undergoing by firefighters and other rescue workers.

Until now more than 200 people have been taken out of the rubble and more than 100 have been sent to hospitals. The fire department officials said the toll of people still trapped is not known.

More than 121,000 households in the city is without power as the quake has knocked out 69 power lines, says Taiwan Power Co.

According to US Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso the quake was six miles underground, very shallow, and the epicenter was on the island, underneath the central mountain range, about 27 miles southeast of Tainan and 24 miles northeast of Kaohsiung, and not offshore. It was strong and people even in mainland China felt the quake.

People said the shaking was violent and not a rolling gentle. The walls shook and moving of windows and building could be heard.

Taiwan faced strongest earthquake in recent years in 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude shaking killed 2,500 people.

The country is seismically active. It lies in a collision zone between the Philippine Sea and Eurasian plates.