Five Tai­wanese still un­ac­counted for in wake of Nepal quake

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The num­ber of Tai­wanese na­tion­als known to have been in Nepal when a mag­ni­tude-7.8 earth­quake dev­as­tated large ar­eas of the Hi­malayan king­dom last week­end had in­creased to 284 as of 6:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day, 279 of whom were con­firmed as be­ing safe, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est up­date pro­vided by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

The in­for­ma­tion was ob­tained by the min­istry’s out­posts at the re­quest of the trav­el­ers’ fam­ily mem­bers and travel agen­cies or through their travel reg­is­tra­tions, said min­istry spokes­woman Anna Kao ( ), not­ing that there are still five peo­ple with whom the min­istry has yet to make con­tact.

Some of the Tai­wanese trav­el­ers con­firmed safe have al­ready re­turned to Tai­wan, while oth­ers have left Nepal, she added.

“The min­istry is still try­ing to reach those who re­main un­ac­counted for through var­i­ous chan­nels,” Kao said, not­ing that lo­cal lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion have been dis­rupted in the wake of the quake.

The earth­quake, the worst to strike Nepal since 1934, oc­curred ap­prox­i­mately 80 kilo­me­ters to the north­east of the coun­try’s cap­i­tal of Kathmandu April 25, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey.

It de­stroyed build­ings in Kathmandu and se­verely af­fected ru­ral ar­eas across the re­gion. The death toll has sur­passed 5,000 and more than 10,000 have been in­jured, ac­cord­ing to for­eign me­dia.

Many coun­tries around the world have launched mas­sive aid op­er­a­tions to help the sur­vivors.

So far, three teams from Tai­wan have ar­rived in Nepal to as­sist with the res­cue ef­fort and de­liver re­lief sup­plies, in­clud­ing a team or­ga­nized by the Bud­dhist Com­pas­sion Re­lief Tzu Chi Foun­da­tion, which ar­rived in Nepal’s cap­i­tal on Tues­day, Kao said.

An­other res­cue and med­i­cal team com­prised of 37 peo­ple from the In­ter­na­tional Head­quar­ters Search and Res­cue (SAR), Tai­wan, a non-gov­ern­ment, vol­un­teer-based search and res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion, and two char­i­ties — the Red Cross So­ci­ety of the Repub­lic of China and the Bud­dha’s Light In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion — also ar­rived in Kathmandu early Wed­nes­day to help with re­lief ef- forts, Kao said.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, a group con­sist­ing of six mem­bers of the Tai­wan In­ter­na­tional Health Ac­tion pro­gram and of­fi­cials from the min­istries of health and wel­fare and for­eign af­fairs also ar­rived in Nepal to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and pro­vide re­lief as­sis­tance, she added.

Mean­while, the min­istry has set up a spe­cial area on its web­site to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on Tai­wan’s re­lief as­sis­tance to Nepal and of­fi­cial ac­counts through which the public can make dona­tions to help Nepal.

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