Taiwan's President says every effort will be made in quake rescue operation

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, speaking to reporters in the capital, Taipei, on Saturday (Feb 6) before leaving for the disaster scene in Tainan, in the country's south, where a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn."The disaster situation is not very clear yet. We will do our utmost to rescue and secure (survivors)," Mr Ma said.

The quake initially cut power to 168,000 households in Tainan, many of whose residents lived through a massive 1999 tremor which killed about 2,400 people. Later, utility Taipower said power had been restored to all but about 900 households.

Some bullet train services were suspended to the south of Taiwan as inspections were carried out on the tracks for damage, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said in a statement.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said some of its wafers made in Tainan had been damaged following the earthquake and some customers might be affected. It did not say which customers. TSMC will step up production to make up for any delayed shipments, spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun said. The company is a major supplier to global smartphone firms, including Apple Inc .

Meanwhile, China's Taiwan Affairs Office, which in is charge of Beijing's relations with the self-ruled island, said China was willing to provide help if needed, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said. Beijing regards Taiwan as a wayward province.