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President wants all-out efforts in earthquake rescue

2016/02/06 10:36:11

President Ma Ying-jeou in Tainan's emergency response center.

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the government will make an all-out effort to help people hit by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck southern Taiwan early Saturday.

Ma said on his way to Tainan that the government's top priority is to rescue people affected by the earthquake, and the next step is to set up shelters for those who have become homeless.

The southern municipality is the worst hit area in the earthquake, with three people killed and many more still trapped in collapsed buildings.

The president flew to Tainan after being briefed at the central commend center set up for the 3:57 a.m. earthquake centered in Kaohsiung's Meinong District that brought down or seriously damaged several buildings in neighboring Tainan City.

The armed forces have prepared 1,200 beds in four locations for people who lost their homes in the earthquake, the president said.

"We will make an all-out effort to rescue and accommodate people (affected by the earthquake)," he said.

According to the Tainan City government, as of 9 a.m., three people were killed in the earthquake, including a 10-day-old infant, while 221 people were rescued from collapsed buildings, 74 were placed in shelters and 55 were hospitalized.

The Yunlin County Fire Department also reported two people injured by falling objects.

(By Hsieh Chia-che, Lee Shu-hua, Chiang Chun-liang and Kay Liu; click here for the full coverage of the earthquke aftermath.)