Taiwan Earthquake: Two Survivors Pulled From Rubble as Death Toll Climbs

TAINAN, Taiwan — Two survivors, one found shielded under her husband's body, were pulled from a toppled high-rise apartment building Monday — two days after an earthquake in Taiwan killed at least 37.

Taiwan's Eastern Broadcasting Corp. reported that Tsao Wei-ling called out "here I am," as rescuers dug to find her. A male survivor, Lee Tsung-tien, 42, was pulled out conscious from the sixth-floor.

Image: Over 100 still missing as death toll reaches 37 in Taiwan earthquake
A female survivor is carried away after being rescued from a collapsed building in Tainan City early Monday. RITCHIE B. TONGO / EPA

Rescuers also found signs of life from a 28-year-old female migrant worker and an 8-year-old girl, both conscious but trapped in the fifth-floor section, according to a notice posted at a rescue information center on site.

More than 100 people are believed to be still buried in the collapsed building from a disaster that struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar — the Lunar New Year holiday.

Family members of the missing have flooded the information center in search of loved ones. Some walked around with green name cards around their necks indicating their missing relative's name and location in the building.

Survivors Pulled from Wreckage Two Days After Taiwan Quake 0:34

The government in Tainan, the worst-hit city, said that more than 170 people had been rescued from the 17-story building, which folded like an accordion after the quake struck.

"It was all topsy-turvy. You couldn't even tell where the ceiling was," a 15-year-old survivor, only identified by his surname, Hu, said on EBC Television. He said he had crawled out of a window to alert rescuers to his parents' location, and they were all rescued soon after Saturday's quake.

The death toll from the 6.4-magnitude quake stood at 37. Thirty-five of those were from the building collapse in Tainan city, and two other people died elsewhere in the city.

Rescuers said Tsao was found under the body of her husband, who had shielded her from a collapsed beam, Taiwan's government-run Central News Agency reported. Her husband and 2-year-son were found dead, while five members of her family remained unaccounted for, it said.

Drone Video Captures Extent of Taiwan Quake Destruction 1:26

The spectacular fall of the high-rise, built in 1989, raised questions about whether its construction had been shoddy. Tainan's government said the building had not been listed as a dangerous structure, and Taiwan's interior minister, Chen Wei-zen, said an investigation would examine whether the developer had cut corners.

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