A strong aftershock shook Taiwan yesterday, killing three, injuring 58 and causing several buildings already weakened by Tuesday's kil-ler quake to collapse.
The death toll rose to 2,060, with 8,672 injured, 189 missing and 961 stranded in remote areas.
The tremor, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, rattled Taiwan at about 8 am yesterday. The epicenter of the quake was located at some 10km east of scenic Sun Moon Lake, 7.5km underground.
In Nantou County's Ming-chien (
The building crushed the Minchien Township Farmers' Association building across the road and at least two passing vehicles and several passersby.
One of two employees working overtime at the farmers' association yesterday managed to escape; another could not be found.
The building had been declared dangerous after Tuesday's quake and the road section in front of the building had been cordoned off by police. But traffic resumed on the road Saturday afternoon after someone removed warning signs.
Witnesses said at least 10 residents of the building were in it when it collapsed, retrieving some of their belongings.
Rescue teams from South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, the UK, Spain, Russia and the US all rushed to site of the collapsed building to help out with rescue efforts.
The quake also caused a landslide in Yunlin County's Kukeng (
More buildings in Nantou County also collapsed after yesterday's quake. Most of those buildings, including several schools and a Buddhist monastery, are believed to be located along fault lines which have been active since last Tuesday.
A number of roads in Nantou County and other neighboring counties, already affected by Tuesday's deadly quake, were blocked by landslides after yesterday's aftershock.
Chen Chiu-hciung (
The tremor also interrupted Taipower's supply of electricity in central Taiwan, leaving some 1.5 million households in Taichung City, Taichung County, Nantou County and Changhua County without power for at least six hours.
In Taipei, the city government's Bureau of Public Works received reports of cracks seen on the Chunghsiao Bridge (
Seismologists said threatening aftershocks are still expected in the following days, as neither the magnitude nor frequency of aftershocks has been found to be subsiding.
Nantou County Commissioner Peng Pai-shien (
He also warned that the number of safe wide open spaces available to the homeless has been rapidly shrinking as the number of homeless continues to increase.
Meanwhile, President Lee Teng-hui's tour of disaster areas yesterday was marred by the death of a six-year-old girl in Puli.
The girl was crushed when one of four helicopters in the presi-dent's entourage landed at Puli Junior High School and blew over a pineapple tree.
The felled tree also seriously injured another girl.
President Lee expressed regret and extended his apologies to the parents of the girls.
Meanwhile, the international community showered Taiwan with concern.
Pope John Paul yesterday sent his prayers to "the people of earthquake-stricken Taiwan" and called on the international community to provide help and solidarity.
"In these days my thoughts have constantly turned to the beloved people of Taiwan as they recover from the recent earthquake and its tragic aftermath," the Pontiff said in his regular Angelus speech from his summer residence outside Rome.
"I am likewise confident that the international community will respond with renewed solidarity and ready assistance in the urgent work of relief and rebuilding."
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said he would ask the city council to contribute US$200,000 to help victims of this week's earthquake in Taiwan.
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