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Five Taiwanese trapped in Mexico quake

2017/09/20 12:04:00

Los Angeles, Sept. 19 (CNA) Five Taiwanese are thought to be trapped in the rubble of a toppled office building in Mexico City after a magnitude-7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, according to Carlos Liao (廖世傑), Taiwan's representative in Mexico.

The quake killed at least 149 people and brought down buildings in the heavily populated capital, where rescuers were combing frantically through rubble searching for survivors.

Taiwan's representative office in the country and a Taiwanese businessman's association have sent people to the site to help search for the five Taiwanese, including businessman Chen Po-wen (陳博文), who ran a shoe business from an office in the collapsed building.

Aside from five Taiwanese, nine Mexican employees were thought to be in Chen's office when the earthquake struck.

No other Taiwanese in Mexico were reported to have been affected by the powerful earthquake, according to Liao.

The massive quake hit at 1:13 p.m., hours after the city held preparation drills on the anniversary of a magnitude 8.0 quake that struck Mexico City on Sept. 19, 1985 that killed thousands.

It came just 12 days after a 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of southern Mexico.

Liao said the earthquake struck at lunchtime when many people were on the city streets, limiting the number of casualties it might otherwise have caused.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Community Affairs Council said in a statement Wednesday that it has initiated an emergency communication mechanism to gather information about the personal safety of Taiwanese in the country and will work together with the representative office to provide needed assistance to those affected.

(By Edward Tsao and Evelyn Kao)