36 Tai­wanese in Nepal still miss­ing; 131 safe

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Of the 167 Tai­wan na­tion­als in Nepal when a mag­ni­tude-7.8 earth­quake shook the Hi­malayan king­dom Satur­day, 131 are con­firmed to be safe, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est up­date pro­vided by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs (MOFA) on Sun­day.

The min­istry said the 131 Tai­wanese trav­el­ers, in­clud­ing all 69 thought to be in Nepal as part of tour groups, have re­ported they were safe, but there were still 36 who had yet to be tracked down.

Tai­wan’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to In­dia Tien Chung-kwang and Yao Eng-chi, chair­man of the World League for Free­dom and Democ­racy ROC Chap­ter, are among the trav­el­ers con­firmed to be safe.

Yao was vis­it­ing Kathmandu at the head of a 13-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion in­clud­ing Tien when the dev­as­tat­ing quake struck.

MOFA spokes­woman Ann Kao ( ) said ef­forts are be­ing made to ar­range flights for the trav­el­ers to re­turn home as soon as pos­si­ble. One tour group with 12 peo­ple had al­ready re­turned to Tai­wan early Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Tai­wan’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in In­dia and Tien are as­sist­ing Tai­wanese trav­el­ers to find ways home and are also con­tin­u­ing to try to make con­tact with the peo­ple who re­main un­ac­counted for, Kao said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear if Tien is plan­ning to stay on in Nepal to help co­or­di­nate trav­eler ser­vices and re­lief ini­tia­tives.

The epi­cen­ter of the earth­quake — the strong­est to hit Nepal since 1934 — was sit­u­ated 77 kilo­me­ters north­west of the cap­i­tal city of Kathmandu.

As of early Sun­day af­ter­noon, the Nepal gov­ern­ment had con­firmed that at least 1,958 peo­ple were killed in the nat­u­ral dis­as­ter and at least 5,000 were in­jured.

Tai­wan has sent its con­do­lences to the vic­tims through Tien and pledged to do­nate NT$9.2 mil­lion in res­cue and re­lief as­sis­tance, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

Kao also said the min­istry has raised its travel warn­ing for Nepal to the high­est “red light” alert, un­der which trav­el­ers are ad­vised to not visit the land­locked coun­try.

For Tai­wanese cit­i­zens in Nepal who need help, Kao said they should call the min­istry’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in In­dia via the emer­gency num­ber +919810502610 or to the min­istry in Tai­wan at +886800085095.

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