Taiwan Quake Toll Climbs to 35, President to Visit Disaster Scene

By Reuters 8 February 2016

TAINAN, Taiwan — The death toll from an earthquake in southern Taiwan at the weekend climbed to 35 on Monday, with more than 100 people still listed as missing under a 17-story building that collapsed and where all rescue efforts are being focused.

The quake struck at about 4 am on Saturday, at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, with almost all the dead found in the toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan city.

Rescuers continued to scramble over the twisted wreck of the building as numbed family members stood around, waiting for news of missing relatives.

Taiwan’s government said in a statement 33 of the 35 dead were from that Wei-guan building, with 117 still listed as missing.

President Ma Ying-jeou is scheduled to visit the disaster zone later on Monday, as is Tsai Ing-wen, who won a presidential election last month.

Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed condolences to the victims, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Sunday, and repeated Beijing’s offer to provide help.

China views self-ruled Taiwan as a wayward province, to be bought under its control by force if necessary.