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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Aftershocks hit Taiwan
Crane falls from construction site
A crane crashed to the ground when the quake hit
Hundreds of aftershock continued to rock Taiwan a day after a powerful earthquake toppled buildings and caused several landslides.

A collapsed building in Taipei
Civilians have been warned there may be more aftershocks

Two moderate earthquakes, measuring 4.8 and 4.5 on the Richter scale and centred out at sea shook the region on Monday, and seismologists warned that there may be further tremors.

The death toll rose to five as a worker from a construction site where three other men were killed, died of his injuries in hospital overnight.

The other fatality was a taxi driver who was killed when cranes from the site crashed on top of his car.

A further 200 people were injured in the tremors.

On Monday, the authorities inspected the site of the Taipei Financial Center, where the construction men died.


They said cranes on the unfinished building were attached to a temporary steel structure and the earthquake may have loosened the screws, causing them to fall.

Shen Yun-fei, the centre's deputy manager, told the French news agency AFP that an investigation was under way to see whether negligence had contributed to the men's death.

Work on the proposed 101-storey financial centre, soon to be the world's tallest building, has been suspended until further safety checks can be carried out.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said that Sunday's quake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, was centred near Hualien, 180 kilometres (108 miles) east of Taipei.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency also said a small tsunami wave, sparked by the seismic activity, had reached Yonaguni, the closest Japanese island to Taiwan.

A tsunami warning for the southern island chains of Yaeyama, Miyakojima and Okinawa, was later withdrawn.

The tremors are being described as the worst to hit the island since the 1999 earthquake that killed 2,400 people and left 100,000 homeless.

The BBC's Helen Leavy
"The casualty figures do seem to be rising"
See also:

14 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
Powerful earthquake hits Taiwan
05 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Killer waves so hard to detect
28 Feb 01 | World
Deadly history of earthquakes
30 Nov 98 | World
The Earth's Ring of Fire
21 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Taiwan
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