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At least 4 Chinese tourists dead, 5 missing in Hualien earthquake

2018/02/08 12:14:57

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) At least four independent travelers from China have been listed among the fatalities in the powerful earthquake that hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday, according to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), the semi-official body that handles cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.

Five other Chinese nationals, meanwhile, are unaccounted for, the SEF said, citing information from the Central Emergency Operations Center.

The four who died -- 39-year-old Yu Fei (余妃), 47-year-old Yang Lirong (楊麗蓉), 19-year-old Li Yangqi (李楊琦) and 50-year-old Wei Jia (韋嘉) -- were all staying at the Beauty Inn, part of the collapsed Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial and residential complex in downtown Hualien.

The SEF is assisting the families of the deceased to travel to Taiwan.

At least four other independent travelers from China sustained minor injuries in the earthquake, the Mainland Affairs Council said.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the death toll from the Hualien County remained at nine, with 267 injured and 58 remaining unaccounted for, according to Hualien's Emergency Operations Center.

Rescue efforts are ongoing after the magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked Hualien at about midnight Tuesday, but have been made increasingly difficult with the continued tilting of partially collapsed buildings, and aftershocks that keep hitting the area.

(By Miao Zong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)