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Rescuers seek more than 130 still missing after Taiwan earthquake

Rescue workers in Taiwan are continuing their search for more than 130 people believed missing in a collapsed apartment tower in the southern city of Tainan. At least 19 people died in Saturday's earthquake. Rescuers pulled a 20-year-old man from the rubble of the Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan on Sunday, more than a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, television stations reported. The apartment building collapsed in Saturday's early morning earthquake; 132 people are believed to be trapped beneath the rubble. All but 30 are thought to be deep within the wreckage. "We will focus our resources on the 29 who are closest to the rescuers," Tainan Mayor William Lai told reporters early Sunday. He added that the cold weather had made conditions difficult, and said it could take several hours to clear the rubble to access the area where people are believed to be trapped. At least 19 people are known to have died in the earthquake, with its epicenter in the south of the island. The quake struck at the start of the Lunar New Year holiday when many people were traveling to spend time with their families. Authorities said the collapsed building had 96 apartments and 256 registered residents, but more people were inside when it collapsed. Rescuers have already taken 240 survivors from the ruins. Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that 484 people had been injured, but all were released from hospitals by Saturday night. Buildings in nine other locations in the city also collapsed. Five were left tilting at alarming angles. The country's interior minister said there would be an investigation into the construction standard of the 20-year-old Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building, to find out why it collapsed while other residential blocks withstood the quake. The building included a care center for newborn babies.

Rescue workers in Taiwan are continuing their search for more than 130 people believed missing in a collapsed apartment tower in the southern city of Tainan. At least 19 people died in Saturday’s earthquake. Rescuers pulled a 20-year-old man from the rubble of the Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan on Sunday, more than a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake ... Read More »

Rescuers race to find survivors in Afghanistan-Pakistan quake

Islamabad mobilized the military to begin a rescue mission for survivors of a massive earthquake that has killed hundreds. Roads destroyed in the disaster made it difficult to reach the remote regions most affected. The search area for victims of a deadly earthquake along the Afghan-Pakistani border was widened on Tuesday as authorities increased the death toll to upwards of 260. That figure is expected to rise further. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck in the Hindu Kush mountain range, near Afghanistan's borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan. The region's already weak infrastructure took a beating in the quake, blocking roads and cutting off the most remote areas in need of help. The epicenter of Monday's earthquake was in the rural Badakhsan province, vast swathes of which are still controlled by the Taliban. Authorities in Afghanistan were still able to estimate, however, that around 63 people were killed in the disaster and hundreds injured. Schoolgirls killed in panicked stampede Around a dozen of the dead in Afghanistan were a group of schoolgirls, all under 16, who were trampled in a crush to escape their swaying school building in the remote province Takhar. "When the relatives of the dead students came to collect their bodies, they were so distressed that they could not even talk to authorities to record their names," said Hafizullah Safai, leader of the Takhar health department. Pakistan sees most of the casualties Early estimates put the death toll in Pakistan higher, with more than 200 people believed perished and more than 1,800 injured, disaster management authorities said. Islamabad immediately mobilized its army and put all military hospitals on high alert, with the air force ready to assist in search and rescue missions. The quake lasted about one minute and sent shockwaves that were felt as far away as India and Uzbekistan. Traffic in Kabul came to a standstill as terrified people abandoned their cars as they waited for the quake to stop. The disaster prompted an outpouring of sympathy from around the world. Even Pakistan's bitter rival, India, offered its condolences, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting words of consolation. The Hindu Kush range is frequently hit by earthquakes. In 2005, a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck there killed more than 75,000 people and displaced a further 3.5 million.

Islamabad mobilized the military to begin a rescue mission for survivors of a massive earthquake that has killed hundreds. Roads destroyed in the disaster made it difficult to reach the remote regions most affected. The search area for victims of a deadly earthquake along the Afghan-Pakistani border was widened on Tuesday as authorities increased the death toll to upwards of ... Read More »

Death toll rises as Guatemala landslide rescuers find more bodies

Workers in Guatemala are continuing to search through rubble and debris for survivors of a landslide on the outskirts of the capital. Hundreds are still missing. Workers used diggers and shovels to search through tons of dirt that buried more than 100 homes in a neighborhood in Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala City, on Thursday night . Figures vary but at least 69 people are understood to have died in the landslide, which happened when a hill partially collapsed, burying some homes under 50 feet (15 meters) of earth. Hope is fading for the hundreds of people that are still missing. Sergio Cabanas, a senior official at disaster agency Conred, told reporters he doubted more survivors would be found. "But we have enough hope to keep looking, even if just one more person gets out alive," he said. Cabanas said he'd been contacted by several people who reported receiving messages from their trapped relatives under the rubble. He asked local telephone companies to map out the places from where the messages were being sent. Around 1,800 soldiers, firemen and other volunteers are helping with rescue efforts. The dead are being brought to an improvised morgue where relatives have been identifying bodies. The tragedy has hit Guatemala after weeks of political turmoil, and as it prepares to elect a new president.

Workers in Guatemala are continuing to search through rubble and debris for survivors of a landslide on the outskirts of the capital. Hundreds are still missing. Workers used diggers and shovels to search through tons of dirt that buried more than 100 homes in a neighborhood in Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala City, on Thursday night . Figures vary but at ... Read More »

Rescue called off in migrant boat tragedy

An international search for survivors has been called off after rescue ships were called to aid other migrant boats in the area. More than 200 people are believed to have drowned when the overcrowded boat capsized. An international search team for survivors off the coast of Libya was called on Thursday after rescue ships received calls to aid more migrant boats in a nearby area of the Mediterranean Sea. More than 200 people are believed to have drowned on Wednesday when a smuggling boat carrying migrants from Libya to Europe's southern shores capsized. "What happened here was because the boat was so overloaded and the conditions were such that the boat started taking on water and it listed to one size, capsized and sank, all in the space of two minutes," Reuters news agency cited Ireland's Defense Minister Simon Coveney telling Irish state radio RTE. Survivors arrive in Palermo Vessels from the Italian and Irish navies, along with one from humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF), responded to the tragedy, saving at least 370 people in the process, according to the Italian coast guard. At least 25 bodies were recovered an international rescue operation, however, overnight searches did not yield new discoveries. The Irish naval vessel Le Niamh - part of the EU Triton mission - arrived on Thursday in the Italian port of Palermo, where the majority of the survivors disembarked. 'Collective courage' Wednesday's tragedy marks the largest migrant incident on the Mediterranean since April, when approximately 800 migrants drowned after their boat capsized. Meanwhile, Europe has been widely criticized for its response to the migrant crisis, forcing it to bolster the Triton program after April's disaster. "Migration is not a popular or pretty topic. It is easy to cry in front of your TV set when witnessing these tragedies. It is harder to stand up and take responsibility," said a statement issued by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avrampoulos and First Vice-President Franz Timmermans. "What we need now is the collective courage to follow through with concrete action on words that will otherwise ring empty," the statement concluded. More than 2,000 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean in 2015, marking a significant increase compared to the same period last year.

An international search for survivors has been called off after rescue ships were called to aid other migrant boats in the area. More than 200 people are believed to have drowned when the overcrowded boat capsized. An international search team for survivors off the coast of Libya was called on Thursday after rescue ships received calls to aid more migrant ... Read More »

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