Taiwan Earthquake: Drone Footage Shows Collapsed Tainan Residential Building

Drone footage showing the devastation wrought by an earthquake in Taiwan on Friday has been released, as rescuers continue to search for survivors in the wreckage.

More than 100 people are still missing after a powerful 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn, causing a high-rise residential building to collapse.

At least 14 people are dead, including a 10-moth-old baby, according to the Associated Press.

Aerial footage shows the extent of the ruins of the 17-floor residential building, which folded like an accordion onto its side after the quake struck, according to witnesses.

Rescue workers inspect the rubble of a collapsed building in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan

Nearly 340 people were rescued from the rubble in Tainan, the city hit worst by the quake.

About 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the scene in a bid to find survivors.

Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported that 172 people were missing.

The tremor hit as people were preparing to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The building had 256 registered residents, but far more people could have been inside when it fell because the population might have swelled ahead of the holiday, when families typically host guests.

Local media said the building included a care center for newborns and mothers, and a newborn was among the dead in the disaster.

The high-rise building "first starting shaking horizontally, then up and down, then a big shake right to left," said Tainan resident Lin Bao-gui, a secondhand car salesman whose cars were smashed when the building collapsed across the street from him.

"I stayed in my bed but jumped up when I heard the big bang that was the sound of the building falling," he said.

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Taiwan Earthquake

According to the US Geographical survey, the quake hit at around 4am local time at a depth of 6.2 miles. Five large aftershocks followed. The centre of the quake was located 22 miles southeast of Yujing.

Rescuers went apartment-to-apartment, drawing red circles near windows of apartments they already had searched.

"I went to the top floors of the middle part of the building, where we found five people, one of whom was in bed and already dead," said Liu Wen-bin, a 50-year-old rescuer from Taichung. "Some people were found in the shower, some in the bedroom."

Elsewhere in Tainan, dozens of other people were rescued or safely evacuated from damaged structures or buildings declared unsafe following the quake, including a market and a seven-floor building, authorities said. A bank building also careened, but no one was injured or trapped.

A baby boy is rescued from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Tainan

All told, nine buildings collapsed and five careened in Tainan, the emergency management information center said.

Because of the spectacular fall of the residential high-rise, questions surfaced about whether the 1989 structure had shoddy construction. Tainan's government said the Wei Guan building was not listed as a dangerous structure before the quake, and Taiwan's interior minister, Chen Wei-zen, said an investigation would examine whether the developer had cut corners during construction.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.