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At least 46 killed in deadly earthquake in Taiwan

2016/02/10 18:17:35

47 killed in devastating earthquake in southern Taiwan

Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) A strong earthquake that shook southern Taiwan four days ago has left at least 46 people dead and another 94 unaccounted for, according to the latest figures issued by authorities in Tainan, the city where the quake took its greatest toll.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, 46 people were confirmed dead because of the earthquake, of whom 44 were killed in the collapse of a 16-story apartment complex in the city.

All 94 of those still missing, including 21 children, are believed to still be trapped in that complex, called Weiguan Jinlong.

At around noon Wednesday, rescuers pulled out a female body from building H of the complex, but it was not identified.

A total of five corpses, including the female body, have yet to be identified, according the city.

The damage was the result of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that rocked southern Taiwan at 3:57 a.m. on Feb. 6 and toppled more than 10 buildings, all in Tainan.

The earthquake also damaged water pipelines in more than 240 spots around Taiwan, with some pipes over 300 millimeters in diameter rupturing.

Despite intensive efforts to fix the pipelines in 21 spots, about 50,000 households in eastern and southern Tainan were still without running water as of Wednesday afternoon.

State-owned Taiwan Water Corp. (台水公司) sent more than 100 engineers to lay down new pipelines on Wednesday and hoped that water services would be restored by midnight on Feb. 13.

Wang Ying-ming (王英明), a manager at Taiwan Water's office in southern Taiwan, said the engineers have been working hard to lay down a kilometer of pipelines in the affected districts.

The construction of the new pipelines, which will go on around the clock, is scheduled to be completed at around 6 p.m. on Feb. 13, and households near the new pipelines are expected to have their water supply restored by then, Wang said.

But he did not expect water services to resume for all households until midnight on Feb. 13 at the earliest.

To help the affected households deal with the current water shortage, Taiwan Water has dispatched 130 water trucks to supply them with water.

(By Yang Suu-jui, Wang Shu-fen and Frances Huang; click here for the full coverage of the earthquke aftermath.)