Deadly earthquake below Southern Taiwan (Tainan) - 114 dead, 1 missing and 548 injured (final count in 17-storey building)

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Update (February 15-18):

Following the end of the search and rescue operations in the collapse site of the 17-storey Weiguan Jinlong apartment complex in the Yongkang district of Tainan city, post-disaster recovery operations were instigated by the government. In this framework some initial damage statistics and loss estimates were published, as follows (China Post, February 15-18):

34 historic monuments (23 in Tainan city) were damaged, and will likely require NT$520 million (15.6 US$ million) for repair work.

481 damaged school buildings (200 in Tainan, 95 in Kaohsiung, 42 in Chiayi county) with losses estimated by the Ministry of Education at NT$279 million (8.4 US$ million). Tainan city reported NT$149 million in losses, Pingtung county NT$69 million and Kaohsiung city NT$22 million.

Losses to agricultural and livestock facilities were estimated at NT$170.7 million (US$5.1 million).

In addition, the Public Works Bureau said that 546 buildings have been damaged during the earthquake, with 86 buildings in Tainan city, judged not fit for habitation while 64 can still be lived in but will require reinforcement.

Further north in Taichung city, another problem surfaced as a result of this earthquake. Façade tiles in at least 21 tall buildings have started peeling off and causing concern among residents and pedestrians. An extensive program was launched to check the safety of façade tiles across the city in at least 4,523 buildings.

Summary: 14:00 UTC 14.02.2016 :

From Dr. Antonios Pomonis who has been doing a detailed study of Taiwan earthquake casualties since the onset of the disaster, the following statistics have been collated and written.

  • The USAR operations in Taiwan lasted 180 hours (7.5 days) exactly. The best reading of the casualties outcome in the 17-storey Weiguan Jinlong building collapse would be as follows:
  • 114 are dead (ca. 29% of occupants)
  • The rescue efforts must be considered successful as they managed to pull out at least 188 trapped occupants alive (in addition 95 came out alone at the first few hours, as per NCREE report)!
  • 1000 rescue personnel worked on the site, showing that in Taiwan they have a high degree of preparedness.
  • In addition USAR saved another 41 people in 2 other building collapse sites in Tainan City. All in all they extricated alive >222 people out of the rubble of 3 buildings (6 more buildings collapsed but were non-residential and empty at the time of the earthquake occurrence).
  • Lethality in the Weiguan Jinlong building was nearly 29% due to limited volume loss (plenty of voids) as shown in the drone footage and photos.
  • One more person (not a resident of WJ building) is still missing.
  • Once again we thank contributor Antonios for his detailed study and updating the figures.

Update 09:53 UTC : New statistics of the disaster : 41 dead, 107 missing and 548 injured

Update 09:50 UTC : Local Taiwanese media are reporting that the developer of the collapsed building in Taiwan has been arrested

Update 05:19 UTC : New statistics of the disaster : 39 dead, 116 missing and 533 injured


Update 10:16 UTC : Rescuers in Tainan pulled an eight-year-old girl out alive from the wreckage of a collapsed building on Monday, more than 60 hours after an earthquake hit the island.

Update 10:15 UTC : New statistics of the disaster : 38 dead, 116 missing and 530 injured

Update 09:34 UTC : 24 people killed and 505 injured so far


Update 23:19 UTC : Taiwan government says that 132 people are still buried in the collapsed 17-storey apartment tower after earthquake - rescuers say that they only may be able to reach 29

Update 22:26 UTC : A new intermediate update : 14 people killed and 484 injured. Still many missing in the rubble of the 2 collapsed residential buildings

Update 011:30 UTC : The Ground shaking map (PGA), from the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau.

2016-02-06_12-22-21

Update 011:30 UTC : 11 people have been killed and 30 remain missing. The 17-storey apartment block housed about 60 households, or around 215-250 people. Of these, most have been accounted for. A lucky escape for many!

Update 06:33 UTC : 7 people have been killed. 245 people have been rescued. The injury toll is around 400.

Update 06:30 UTC : 6 people are currently confirmed dead.

Update 06:20 UTC : Having seen a number of pancake collapses (collapses with very little air space left after collapsing, we expect the death toll to rise. It is often the case that up to 60% of inhabitants in a full pancake collapse.

Update 05:44 UTC : National Fire Agency in Taiwan reports at least 5 killed and 378 injured

Update 05:40 UTC : China has offered assistance in case Taiwan would need it

Update 05:34 UTC : ET Today is reporting now that the number of injured and hospitalized has now increased to 318. Officially the number of fatalities is still at 3.

Update 05:33 UTC : Facebook activates 'safety check' for Taiwan

Update 01:36 UTC : AP: Authorities in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan say three people — including a 10-day-old — have been killed and 154 hospitalized following a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake.
Firefighters and soldiers scrambled to the site of two collapsed residential high-rises with ladders, cranes and other equipment and extracted 221 people from the rubble.
Taiwan's official news agency says the infant and a 40-year-old man were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building and were later declared dead. The agency says 256 people were believed to have been living in 92 households.
At the moment of writing we counted 3 fatalities and 154 people injured. This is of course still a preliminary status. Rrescue workers with heavy material are still searching the collapsed buildings.
Rescue teams were already dispatched 45 minutes after the shaking.

Update 21:37 UTC : Below the mapping of the CWB (Central Weather Bureau Taiwan). Taiwan uses another than the MMI scale and 5 and 6 resembles a very strong to massive shaking

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 22.37.09

Update 21:32 UTC : Reuters reports that multiple buildings including a residential complex have collapsed in Taiwan. This earthquake is by far the most destructive of the recent years. A dangerous fault line runs through the middle of the island.

Update 21:32 UTC :

Update 21:25 UTC : Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : Injured : 200 - 2000 Fatalities 0 - 400

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 22.23.33 Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 22.25.36 Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 22.25.57 Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 22.27.13

28km (17mi) NE of Pingtung, Taiwan
35km (22mi) SE of Yujing, Taiwan
46km (29mi) NE of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
48km (30mi) ESE of Tainan, Taiwan
672km (418mi) E of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.3

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2016-02-06 03:57:27

GMT/UTC Time : 2016-02-05 19:57:27

Depth (Hypocenter) : 32 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Taiwan Feb 05 21:07 4.4 25 MAP I Felt It INFO
PTWC Feb 05 20:07 6.7 0 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Taiwan Feb 05 20:03 4.5 27 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Taiwan Feb 05 20:01 4.3 31 MAP I Felt It
WCATWC Taiwan Feb 05 19:58 6.7 9 MAP I Felt It
USGS Yujing, Taiwan Feb 05 19:57 6.7 10 MAP I Felt It
  • Nanning - I got up to go to the bathroom and felt the building swaying. Ceiling lamps, hanging potted plant and curtains were swinging and I could feel it as I walked back to bed. I live on the 29th floor and it lasted almost a minute. The guard of my building on the ground floor said he didn't feel anything. No damage
  • EMSC Taiwan Feb 05 19:57 6.3 17 MAP I Felt It
    GEOFON Taiwan Feb 05 19:57 6.3 32 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Hsinying - drawers shaken open, felt like house moved more than 2 inches back and forth
  • Taichung - waken up by the earthquake
  • Tainan - We are on the 11th floor of a building. Felt horrific. All 5 of us woke and moved to a doorway.
  • Taitung - Light fixtures on cielingvswinging back and forth. Not enough to damage our very strong house.
  • Kaohsiung City - Dogs barking, cats running, floor shaking... TVs, furniture, etc shaking but luckily nothing major fell down. Lasted maybe at least 10 seconds.
  • Kaohsiung/Cijin - No damage by now, the doors of my bedroom closet open with the shaking
  • Hualien - Bed was shaking around 4am for maybe about 10 seconds
  • Tainan City - Woke about 3:58 to sting shaking and a few things falling to floor in bathroom. Seemed to last about 15 seconds with 30 seconds of declining reverberations afterwards.
  • Taichung City - no damage,yet!shake about seconds.
  • Kaohsiung - Don't know, am in hotel
  • Hsinchu - I've awakened by feeling shaking. I could see and hear the lighting decorations shaking and make noise by hitting each other.
  • Kowloon - Light Shaking, no damage
  • Wilayah Taichung city - Barusan Terjadi gempa pukul 03.58 pagi [waktu Taiwan], terjadi gempa Cukup lama skitar 15 detik. Saat masih tertidur lelap, Dan terbangun keluar dari asrama.
  • Xiamen - Woke up on fifth floir of building to violent shaking of whole massive building with hard knocking sounds - rolling heavy closet doors came crashing down - tremors lasted for approximately 1 minute
  • Taichung - No damage, just a rocking of the building (13th floor) reminded me of being on a ship at sea back in the day. Might have been about 3-4 rolls, started slight and grew.
  • Wilayah taichung city - Barusan terjadi gempa Cukup lama skitar pukul 03.58 pagi waktu Taiwan, Saat tertidur lelap dan terbangun keluar dari asrama karena goncangan yang dahsyat Cukup lama 15 detik. Di asrama Semua selamat tidak ad korban jiwa ataupun barang rusak.
  • Taipei - Hotelkamer deinde heen en weer. Televisie op meubel zwiepte behoorlijk. Bed idem. Beving duurde - volgens mijn bevinding - een halve minuut. Van heel zwak tot matig. Geen getril, eerder deinen en heen en weer zwiepen.
  • Taipei - Living on the rooftop on a 5-floor building, I felt fairly gentle, but obvious rolling from the earthquake. It lasted about 1 minute from start to finish. Had I not been lying in bed, it might have felt more severe. I hope everyone is safe in Tainan and Kaohsiung.
  • kaohsiung City - Buildings collapsed, power out. Horrible back and forth violent jerking and shaking!
  • Kaohsiung - shook for quite a long time..maybe close to a min i would say. very scary.
  • Yuchih Twp - Felt the bed shaking quite strongly the the windows rattling for about 15 seconds.
  • fuzhou - my bed moved two inches . felt strong shaking here.
  • Tainan - Vraies secousses comme dans un camion sur une mauvaise route avec en plus, le balancement du bâtiment. (7 étages) Le miroir de salle de bain s'est décroché d'un coté. Très impressionnant, le temps semble très long pendant la secousse.
  • Tainan city - Doors and windows began rattling, increasing intensity until we jostled in our beds. Items falling off of shelves, mirrors knocked over, swaying loose items. Sienna have been going non stop since 4 am. Felt several aftershocks for about an hour after initial shaking with tremors and swaying.
  • Chiayi county - The house shaked stronger than usual. If the shaking keep going on more few seconds,i'd run out.
  • Keelung - Woke up from the shaking, no damage.
  • Pingtung County - Ground floor. Dogs barking like crazy. Firm, steady, and extended shaking, but thankfully not enough to make anything fall.
  • USGS Yujing, Taiwan Feb 05 19:57 6.4 23 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Tainan, Rende - Woken by violent shaking, went to head downstairs (sleeping on 6th floor of apartment) and the movement was too strong to actually walk down the stairs. Multiple things were toppled including a heavy chest of drawers, glasses and other miscellaneous items. Did not last very long (10-15 seconds?) but very alarming, especially as this was the first major quake I had experienced. After shocks felt for hours and even a day later.

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    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
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    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
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    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
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    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
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    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
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    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
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    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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