TAINAN, Feb 6 : Relatives of missing residents from a 16-storey apartment complex felled by a powerful earthquake in Taiwan that killed 13 people were praying for miracles Saturday as rescuers scoured the rubble for survivors.
The cluster of buildings in the historic southern city of Tainan were full of families who had gathered for Lunar New Year celebrations when it collapsed, with residents still trapped inside on Saturday night and the death toll rising.
Tainan bore the brunt of the 6.4 magnitude quake and the disaster zone centres around the residential complex containing almost 100 homes which were toppled.
The four blocks at the Wei-kuan complex were left lying on their sides with twisted metal girders exposed and clouds of dust rising from the jumbled concrete.
Among the 11 people killed when the apartment buildings collapsed were a 10-day-old baby girl and two other children, the National Fire Agency said. The other two victims were killed in different parts of the city by falling debris, the agency said.
Around 800 troops have been mobilised to help the rescue effort with one elderly woman plucked from the rubble by a crane late Saturday night.
A senior army official at the scene said around 20 were still trapped in one of the buildings. Liang Chuan-shun, deputy fire bureau chief for Tainan, told AFP the search was now "a race against time" and would continue through the night.
Meanwhile, a moderate quake measuring 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Nepal's capital and its tourist hub Pokhra on Friday, injuring 15 people.
The quake was epi-centred at Sindhupalchowk district, 55 km, north-east of Kathmandu, according to the National Seismological Centre.
The epicentre was Sindhupalchowk district, near Tibet border. The tremor of the earthquake was felt in some areas of northern Bihar. ?AFP, PTI