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Military, rescuers respond to quake disaster in southern Taiwan

2016/02/06 10:45:11

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's military and emergency services were responding to the strong earthquake in southern Taiwan Saturday, sending helicopters and rescue and medical teams to the stricken areas.

The Army Command Headquarters sent two helicopters to conduct a survey of the sites, while the Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital sent 30 medical personnel to Tainan to assist with medical needs.

Around 400 people from the military are currently assisting with the disaster relief and Chief of General Staff Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) will be stationed at the joint military operations command center to oversee rescue operations, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Meanwhile, rescue personnel in other cities are scrambling to send emergency help to Tainan city, which saw the most casualty and where several buildings have collapsed after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57 a.m. Saturday.

The Taipei City fire department dispatched a rescue team of 34 people and two rescue dogs to Tainan, while the Taoyuan fire department also sent a team of 28 people and one rescue dog to the southern city.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was scheduled to arrive in Tainan on 9:30 a.m., has promised an all-out effort to rescue those trapped in collapsed buildings and to help survivors.

As of 10:30 a.m., 224 people have been pulled from the damaged buildings, with five of them showing no signs of life, according to the Tainan City Fire Bureau.

(By Christie Chen; click here for the full coverage of the earthquke aftermath.)