At least 18 people are dead following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake which hit the city of Tainan in southern Taiwan.
A 17-storey apartment tower which collapsed in the process has killed sixteen people alone, prompting concerns that more than 130 people remain trapped among the rubble.
Another death was recorded in the Guiren District after a water tank fell and hit the victim while another Samsung employee died from injuries sustained by falling objects in a warehouse, China Post reports.
The incident took place early Saturday morning at 7am (AEDT), one day before Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Around 800 troops have been deployed to the Weikuan apartment complex which was believed to have 96 apartments and 256 residents, according to the ABC.
According to Focus Taiwan, the earthquake has toppled more than ten buildings in Tainan with reports that 505 people are injured and another 152 people missing. In addition, 356 people have been rescued with 98 people remaining hospitalised.
Other districts including Zhongxi, Shanshang and Rende have also reported fallen buildings.
President Ma Ying-jeou has since made a visit to emergency response centres and hospitals in Tainan saying that an “all-out effort” would be made to accommodate those affected by the earthquake.
The earthquake has not only cut power to Tainan and Kaohsiung but has also disrupted high speed rail services as well as water services to around 400,000 households.
In April last year, Taiwan was hit by a 6.6 magnitude quake killing one person in Taipei.
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