President-elect Tsai Ing-wen attended the event Friday morning alongside Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te and neighboring Kaohsiung’s mayor, Chen Chu Tsai, the official Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
She offered her condolences to the families of those killed in Saturday’s pre-dawn magnitude 6.4 tremor, also posted a message on Facebook expressing her wishes that the dead would rest in peace and their relatives overcome their grief.
Her visit was followed by that of outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou, who was accompanied by Premier Simon Chang and paid tribute to the dead and expressed his sympathies to their family members.
Rescue efforts continued for a sixth day, with National Fire Agency figures indicating Friday that around 30 people remained trapped in a collapsed 16-story building where all but two of the fatalities were found.
While no survivors from Saturday’s magnitude 6.4 tremor have been found since Monday, the death toll from the Weiguan Jinlong apartment complex in Yongkong district has continued to rise.
Earlier this week, police arrested three executives of a defunct construction firm that built the high-rise, after prosecutors sought their detention on charges of professional negligence resulting in death.
They were taken into custody to prevent collusion that could result in false testimonies.
The Taiwan-based China Post reported Friday that Tainan’s administration had begun efforts to seize assets belonging to the Weiguan company’s former chairman, Lin Ming-hui, to ensure he would be held accountable for any wrongdoing.
With rescue efforts ongoing for almost a week, the Central Weather Bureau has issued a heavy rainfall warning for southern Taiwan, forecasting conditions that could further hinder the search.
Premier Chang ordered Wednesday that government agencies fly flags at half-mast in commemoration of the victims next Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday.
The declaration came as he visited survivors receiving treatment at National Cheng Kung University Hospital, including Lee Tsung-tian, who was trapped for 56 hours before being rescued Monday.
Lee, part of whose left leg had to be amputated due to the death of muscle from lack of blood, lost his girlfriend and three relatives when the Weiguan Jinlong complex collapsed, while three others were reported missing.
Chang also announced that families of each victim would receive NT$1 million ($29,913) from the government in "condolence money".
Around 10 buildings collapsed in Tainan after the predawn earthquake Saturday, and more than 540 people sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, Tainan's Public Works Bureau revealed that 50 buildings were identified as dangerous Wednesday after authorities launched inspections when concerned residents filed around 200 requests.
Of the total, "red" labels were issued to 31 structures, which must be demolished or reinforced at once.
In 1999, Taiwan’s south and central regions were hit be a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people.