Filed Under:Claims, Catastrophe & Restoration

Taiwan earthquake collapses two high-rises. Shoddy construction investigated

Rescuers have found tin cans packed into the collapsed walls of a high-rise.

Emergency rescuers continue to search for missing in a collapsed building from an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Sunday, Feb. 7. Rescuers on Sunday found signs of life within the remains of the high-rise residential building that collapsed in a powerful, shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan that killed over a dozen people and injured hundreds. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)
Emergency rescuers continue to search for missing in a collapsed building from an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Sunday, Feb. 7. Rescuers on Sunday found signs of life within the remains of the high-rise residential building that collapsed in a powerful, shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan that killed over a dozen people and injured hundreds. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

A powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday, collapsing two high-rise residential towers and killing at least 40 people and injuring hundreds. At least four people, including an 8-year-old girl, were rescued Monday, two days after the quake, according to the Associated Press.

More than 120 people are believed to still be under the debris in a disaster that struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar — the Lunar New Year.

Even though the 6.4-magnitude quake was shallow, few buildings were reported to have been damaged, which experts said was because Taiwan's building standards are high. 

The spectacular fall of a 17-story high-rise, built in 1989, raised questions about whether its construction had been shoddy. The Taiwanese government has ordered an investigation into the building's collapse, as images emerged showing tin cans built into the walls of the toppled complex. Emergency workers came across the tin cans during the rescue operation.

Related: Obama Administration takes steps to increase earthquake resilience

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

Here's a look at the earthquake's aftermath and rescue efforts:

Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed on its side from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan

Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed on its side from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck southern Taiwan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (AP Photo)

Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed on its side from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan

Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed on its side from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6.  (AP Photo)

Related: California Earthquake Authority offers new insurance options

Rescue workers carry a baby swaddled in a cloth from the rubble of a toppled building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan

Rescue workers carry a baby swaddled in a cloth from the rubble of a toppled building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. The 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, toppling at least one high-rise residential building and trapping people inside. Firefighters rushed to pull out survivors. (AP Photo) 

Emergency rescue teams search for victims in a collapsed building

Emergency rescue teams search for victims in a collapsed building after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. The earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, toppling at least one high-rise residential building and trapping people inside. (AP Photo) 

Related: How to protect your property and business from earthquakes

A woman is led by a rescue worker from the site of a toppled building

A woman is led by a rescue worker from the site of a toppled building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. (AP Photo)

Rescue workers search a collapsed building

Rescue workers search a collapsed building from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. A powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Related: Ground-shaking facts about U.S. earthquakes

Army soldiers search a toppled building an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016.

Army soldiers search a toppled building an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. (AP Photo)

A young girl is rescued from a collapsed building

A young girl is rescued from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6.  (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Related: 5 rationalizations for not purchasing earthquake insurance (and how to overcome them)

Rescue workers search a collapsed building

Rescue workers search a collapsed building from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Rescue teams continue to search for the missing in a collapsed building

Rescue teams continue to search for the missing in a collapsed building, after an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Rescue workers search a collapsed building

Rescue workers search a collapsed building from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Emergency rescuers remove a body found in a collapsed building

Emergency rescuers remove a body found in a collapsed building from an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Sunday, Feb. 7. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

An army soldier tries to listen for signs of life in a collapsed building

An army soldier tries to listen for signs of life in a collapsed building from an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Sunday, Feb. 7. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

a rescue worker stands near tin cans exposed in the cement structure of the collapsed building

In this Sunday, Feb. 7, photo, a rescue worker stands near tin cans exposed in the cement structure of the collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan. (Photo: Wally Santana/AP Photo)

Rescue workers carry a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, identified as Chen Mei-jih, rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building complex

Rescue workers carry a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, identified as Chen Mei-jih, rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Monday, Feb. 8. More than 100 people are believed to still be under the debris in a powerful quake that struck on Saturday, Feb. 6, during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar — the Lunar New Year. (AP Photo)

Related: California offering grants to strengthen homes against earthquakes

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