Taiwan quake: Singaporean's shoe store in Kaohsiung damaged, shopping malls closed in city

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man who runs a shoe business in Taiwan has recounted his harrowing experience when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday (Feb 6) morning.

Mr Luo Junfa, 34, told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao he was fast asleep in his home in Kaohsiung when he was rudely awakened by the tremors.

"It felt as if the whole house was shaking, and I immediately ran outside to find a safe place," Mr Luo said.

"The earthquake lasted for about 30 minutes but I waited for some time after, to make sure it was safe before I returned home."

The shoe store he owns in Kaohsiung's popular shopping mall Shinkong Mitsukoshi, however, was not spared though.

When Mr Luo visited his shop, he found toppled display shelves, burst water pipes and shoe boxes strewn all over the floor, Zaobao reported.

The mall, along with several other shopping complexes in the city, had to be closed.

Mr Luo estimated that repairs to his store would take two or three days.

He is now safely back in Singapore, having caught a flight from Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport on Saturday afternoon.

While Mr Luo shared that earthquakes in Taiwan were a regular occurrence, the cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan had been badly hit by the latest one.

At least 23 people are known to have died, while an estimated 120 are still trapped beneath the rubble of a collapsed commercial-residential block in Tainan.

Singapore has also offered its assistance to Taiwan, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressing regret over the loss of lives.

This article was first published on Feb 7, 2016.
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