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Rescuers continue to search for missing people in Taiwan earthquake


Taipei   –     Rescuers on Friday were continuing their search for seven people trapped in a collapsed building about 60 hours after a powerful earthquake struck Taiwan’s Hualien County.

The seven include five mainland tourists and a Canadian couple who were staying on the second floor of the 12-story Yun Men Tsui Ti building when the 6.5-magnitude quake hit Hualien on Tuesday.

Fu Kun-Chi, head of Hualien County, said at a news briefing that the rescue work faces great difficulties with very limited space for rescuers to enter.

“We will do our best to find the missing people within the 72-hour golden rescue period,’’ Fu said.

He also expressed gratitude for the concerns and deep sympathy conveyed by Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, and the donations offered by mainland enterprises.

As of Friday morning, 10 people were confirmed dead in the earthquake, four from Chinese mainland, five from Taiwan and one from the Philippines.

Authorities said 276 people were injured.

Fu said the county will help the relatives of the deceased to visit Hualien and offer them pensions.

Disaster-relief personnel have begun to dismantle other damaged buildings to make sure they would not cause further danger to surrounding houses and residents.

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