21 Tai­wanese are un­ac­counted for in Nepal: min­is­ter

Miss­ing na­tion­als are called on to con­tact fam­i­lies or MOFA

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSEPH YEH

Twenty- one R. O. C. na­tion­als re­main un­ac­counted for fol­low­ing a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake that hit Nepal on Satur­day, killing thou­sands, Tai­wan's for­eign min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

For­eign Min­is­ter David Lin ( ) said that as of 4: 30 p. m. yes­ter­day, there were still 21 Tai­wanese sup­pos­edly in Nepal who have not yet been lo­cated in the wake of the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake that struck the Hi­malayan coun­try.

There were 204 Tai­wan na­tion­als known to be in Nepal at the time of the quake, 183 of whom have been con­firmed to be safe so far, Lin said in an up­date on Tai­wan’s ef­forts to lo­cate its cit­i­zens since the earth­quake.

The min­is­ter called on Tai­wanese na­tion­als who are stranded in Nepal fol­low­ing the dis­as­ter to call their fam­i­lies back in Tai­wan or call the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs ( MOFA) rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in In­dia on the emer­gency num­ber +919810502610 or the For­eign Min­istry in Tai­wan on + 886800085095.

Asked for more de­tails on the Tai­wanese re­ported miss­ing, Lin said most of them are be­lieved to be in­di­vid­ual trav­el­ers rather than tour group vis­i­tors.

MOFA’s Depart­ment of East Asian and Pa­cific Af­fairs head El­liott Charng ( ) added that the miss­ing na­tion­als in­clude three who are be­lieved to be part of a UK hik­ing group. They were last heard from on April 21.

Lin said the min­istry has been work­ing with all avail­able re­sources to lo­cate the miss­ing Tai­wanese, in­clud­ing ob­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion from its over­seas of­fices, from travel records, travel agen­cies and the rel­a­tives of those who were in Nepal at the time of the earth­quake.

Calls for Dona­tions of Emer­gency Sup­plies

Lin yes­ter­day called on Tai­wanese to do­nate emer­gency sup­plies, in­clud­ing blan­kets, wa­ter and food ra­tions to Nepal to as­sist post- dis­as­ter re­lief work in the coun­try.

MOFA will help or­ga­nize the col­lec­tion and trans­porta­tion of blan­kets, wa­ter, food ra­tions and med­i­cal sup­plies to be sent to Nepal and will main­tain com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the Nepalese au­thor­i­ties, Lin said.

The min­is­ter yes­ter­day also noted that Nepal au­thor­i­ties have kindly de­clined Tai­wan’s of­fer to send res­cue teams for now.

Lin ex­plained that Kathmandu has so far only asked for as­sis­tance in search and res­cue ef­forts from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. The coun­try said it will con­tact Tai­wan if it needs fur­ther as­sis­tance.

He noted that the de­ci­sion has noth­ing to do with Chi­nese pres­sure or the coun­tries’ lack of of­fi­cial diplo­matic ties.

In fact, sev­eral ad­vance teams from Tai­wanese char­i­ties, in­clud­ing Tai­wan In­ter­na­tional Health Ac­tion, Tai­wanIHA (

) , Bud­dha’s Light na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion ( and Tai­wan Red Cross (

) , will de­part Tues­day for Nepal to as­sess the coun­try’s needs as prepa­ra­tions are made to pro­vide med­i­cal help, he noted.

The Tai­wan gov­ern­ment has al­ready an­nounced that it will do­nate US$300,000 to Nepal fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing dis­as­ter. In­ter

)

CNA

Ten Tai­wanese tourists ar­rive at Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port from Nepal, yes­ter­day. The tourists, led by the Tung Ling Travel Com­pany (

), re­turned safely to Tai­wan. In re­sponse to ques­tions about the mas­sive earth­quake that dev­as­tated Nepal last Satur­day, the tourists spoke about the nu­mer­ous af­ter­shocks, while the tour es­cort thanked par­ties that ex­pressed con­cern and was grate­ful for re­turn­ing safely.

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