Taiwan earthquake kills 37

Rescuers scrambled to find survivors Sunday night after an earthquake toppled buildings in Taiwan, killing at least 37 people, authorities said.

Of the fatalities, at least 24 were in the Weiguan Jinlong apartment building in the city of Tainan, according to presidential spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo.

Dozens of people were still trapped in the building, one of 11 that collapsed after Saturday's magnitude-6.4 quake, the official Central News Agency reported.

President Ma Ying-jeou canceled his traditional Chinese New Year address to oversee rescue and recovery operations at the national disaster headquarters, his spokeswoman said.

'I was trapped'

Chien, her 3-year-old daughter and her husband were in their bedroom in Tainan --Taiwan's oldest city -- when the earthquake struck.

"I was trapped in a room in a building toppled by the quake," said the mother, who gave only her surname.

"The smell of gas was thick in the air, and I was worried that I would be killed by an explosion if not crushed to death in the collapsed building," she told CNA.

It was a frightening ordeal, one that she has dealt with before.

She lived in central Taiwan before moving to Tainan and survived the 1999 quake that killed more than 2,000 people.

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