Taiwan Earthquake: 14 Confirmed Dead, Dozens Injured, Scores Missing

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It has been 24 hours since the 6.4 magnitude killer earthquake struck Tainan, a southern city on the island of Taiwan in the South China Sea, leaving 14 confirmed dead, dozens injured, scores missing and massive structural damage.

Striking the island nation before dawn Friday, the tremor to a nation accustomed to the experience was described as unusual. Geologist note the quake was extremely shallow at just over six miles below the surface level. These types of shallow ground quakes are known for creating extensive damage.

Tainan is no different. A mix of modern and contemporary structures, the population of 1.8million are faring better than most would expect.

A large apartment structure, where the majority of the dead were killed, was toppled and lie on its side. Passerby’s remarked the developer must be at fault, earthquake reinforced structures and adherence to safety codes must be the norm.

Local earthquake damage, ruptured water mains and suspended transportation have been commonly reported. The quake occurred at the beginning of the Lunar New Year, when families traditionally travel away from the region to the western coast for the celebration.

Tainan operates a high speed bullet train which has been suspended in the southern portion of the island.

With memories of the 1999 Earthquake that left more than 2000 dead, Doctors, nurses, local hospitals and blood centers were on high alerts. Prepared for extensive triage and trauma, Doctors are noting only limited injured, possibly less than 500 and only a dozen severe enough to be admitted.

All agree the adherence to earthquake building codes and extra safety measures seem to have protected the city from experiencing another high death toll catastrophe.  

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