May 20th, 2024

One Canadian missing, two rescued, in Taiwan quake zone, says diplomat

By The Canadian Press on April 4, 2024.

Taiwan's top diplomat in Ottawa says a Canadian is missing in the wake of the powerful earthquake that hit the island this week, while two Canadian tourists have been "successfully rescued" from a national park. A structural engineer takes samples from a leaning building a day after a powerful earthquake struck, in Hualien City, eastern Taiwan, Thursday, April 4, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chiang Ying-ying

OTTAWA – Taiwan’s top diplomat in Ottawa says a Canadian is missing after the powerful earthquake that hit the island this week, while two tourists from Canada have been “successfully rescued” from a national park.

Taiwan’s representative to Canada,Harry Tseng, says he has no details about the missing person but the rescued Canadians, who were previously reported to be on a hiking trail in the Taroko Gorge, don’t have serious injuries.

Tseng says it’s hoped that rescue crews can locate the missing person by the end of Thursday.

Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency wire service, citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says a total of three Canadians were rescued from the quake zone, with a fourth still missing.

Global Affairs Canada did not immediately answer questions about the situation.

Taiwan’s firefighting service had said on a Facebook post Wednesday that two Canadians were among a group of people stranded by rock slides on a trail in Taroko National Park, a well-known hiking destination.

Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operations Centre said the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday centred off Hualien County, 150 kilometres south of Taipei, left 10 people dead, with 705 trapped, 11 missing and 1,099 injured.

Tseng said he had been overwhelmed with messages of support and concern from Canadian officials, showing the “strong solidarity between Canada and the people in Taiwan.”

He said “the worst is over now.”

“People in Taiwan demonstrated our strength, and resilience, and we hope that all those people who are affected can return to their normal lives as soon as possible,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April. 4, 2024.

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