[ti:Taiwan Earthquake: Several Buildings Leaning Near Collapse] [by:www.51voa.com] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.04]A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan late Tuesday, [00:05.08]killing at least seven people [00:07.64]and leaving several buildings leaning, near total collapse. [00:14.40]The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.4 magnitude earthquake [00:21.44]hit around the middle of the night local time near the coastal city of Hualien. [00:30.12]Search and rescue operations continued [00:33.68]in an effort to save dozens of people missing. [00:38.92]Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited the damaged areas. [00:45.36]She promised that every effort would be made to rescue survivors. [00:51.96]At least 260 people were reported injured and more than 80 are missing. [00:59.04]The earthquake split some roads in half [01:03.64]and left about 40,000 homes without water. [01:08.44]Nearly 2,000 others did not have electricity. [01:14.12]Some of the most powerful pictures and video of the disaster [01:19.32]showed high-rise buildings tilting heavily after the earthquake. [01:26.20]Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center [01:30.20]said rescue efforts in one area were briefly halted over safety concerns. [01:37.76]One residential building continued to lean towards collapse [01:42.60]causing rescuers to stop their efforts. [01:46.15]Rescue workers put up steel beams against the building [01:51.67]in an effort to prevent it from completely collapsing. [01:56.48]Large concrete blocks were also placed against the beams for added support. [02:04.20]The building was among at least four in the area [02:07.92]that sank and shifted because of the earthquake. [02:12.80]Experts say the shifts were likely caused by soil liquefaction. [02:19.32]This process can cause the ground underneath a building [02:23.48]to lose its solidity under great physical stress. [02:29.16]Shifting destroyed the lower floors of several buildings, [02:33.52]forcing rescue workers to enter windows to reach people trapped inside. [02:40.24]Hualien prosecutors said they had launched an investigation. [02:46.04]They want to know about possible negligence in construction of buildings [02:51.52]that collapsed or tilted from the earthquake, the Taipei Times reported. [02:58.80]Government officials are seeking building records and said they would question companies [03:04.73]in the buildings' planning and construction. [03:09.04]The investigation will look into whether shortcuts were taken, [03:14.12]if poor building materials were used [03:17.40]and whether all government rules were followed. [03:22.28]Taiwan sits in a very seismically active area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. [03:29.41]Earthquakes regularly strike the area. [03:33.36]I'm Bryan Lynn. [03:36.32]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM