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Japan sends team of specialists to aid in earthquake relief

2018/02/08 12:51:57

Message of support taken from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet's official Facebook page

Tokyo, Feb. 8 (CNA) A 7-member specialist team from Japan was scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Thursday to assist in rescue efforts following the magnitude 6 earthquake that struck Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday, according to a statement from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The team is skilled at operating equipment that can detect signs of life among the earthquake rubble, which is expected to help track down the people who are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Japan has been among the first to offer assistance and support following the Hualien earthquake.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan still remembers Taiwan's immense help in the wake of its March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and will offer any help needed to its longtime friend.

As of noon Thursday, the death toll in the Hualien earthquake remained at nine, with 268 injured and 47 remaining unaccounted for, according to Hualien's Emergency Operations Center.

(By Huang Ming-hsi and Kuan-lin Liu)