Taiwan's terrifying earthquake (PHOTOS)

GlobalPost
Rescue personnel help a victim at the site where a 17 story apartment building collapsed from an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016. 
Pichi Chuang

This year, like every year, families gathered in Tainan to celebrate the Lunar New Year. But this year, unlike other years, disaster struck the historic Taiwanese city. 

powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook the ground beneath Taiwan just before dawn. The quake toppled a 17-storey building in Tainan, which crushed people and cars on its way down. At least 13 people were confirmed dead by nightfall Saturday, with more than 100 were missing

Rescue workers remained hard at work Saturday night. Relatives waited in agony.

"Imagine something like this happening during Thanksgiving," NPR correspondent Elisa Hu told CNN. "That's the equivalent of what's happening here in Taiwan right now."

As is usually the case with tragedies, it is one thing to read about what happened. It is quite another to take in the images:

Rescue personnel work at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed during an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Feb. 6, 2016.
Relatives wait for news of their family who had been inside a 17-storey apartment building which collapsed after an earthquake hit Tainan, southern Taiwan February 6, 2016.
A soldier stands guard in front of a collapsed building after an earthquake hit Tainan, southern Taiwan February 6, 2016.
Rescue personnel remove the body of a victim at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed in an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016.
Rescue personnel help a victim at the site where a 17 story apartment building collapsed from an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Feb. 6, 2016.
Vehicles are seen damaged after a powerful earthquake hit Tainan, Feb. 6, 2016.
Crushed vehicles are seen under a building that was damaged after a powerful earthquake hit Tainan, Feb. 6, 2016.
Rescue personnel work at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed, after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Feb. 6, 2016.