Buildings badly hit by Taiwan quake structurally weakStaff Writer | February 9, 2018
Three of the four buildings left listing badly by the Feb. 6 earthquake here likely had lower-floor designs too weak to withstand the temblor, local experts have suggested.
Earthquake The search for the missing continues
The search for the missing continues, with rescuers racing to find survivors before 72 hours have passed since the quake - the point when the probability of survival drops considerably.
Speaking to Taiwanese media, experts have pointed out that a fault line close to the buildings has triggered several major earthquakes over the past few decades.
The experts also commented that the designs of three of the four worst-hit buildings, which had few walls and pillars on their lower levels to make space for businesses, had made them structurally vulnerable to the temblor.
The four structures are all listing drastically, but the most badly affected was the Yunmen Cuidi building, which contains apartments as well as lodgings and has been left at an about 30-degree tilt.
Authorities believe there may be some visitors who cannot be contacted still trapped inside the building.
Seven experts dispatched by Japan, including those from the Tokyo Fire Department and the Japan Coast Guard, arrived in Hualien on February 8 to assist with search and rescue operations, made difficult by aftershocks.
The team has brought advanced search equipment using electromagnetic waves. ■