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Canadian couple among eight missing in Hualien

2018/02/08 18:27:00

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) A Canadian couple remains unaccounted for in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday.

The couple have been identified as Peter So (蘇煒禧) and Freda So (蕭敏瑜), who are believed to have been staying at the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, one of the partially collapsed buildings in the magnitude 6.0 earthquake, according to the Central Emergency Operations Center (CEOC).

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, which represents Canadian interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, however, had not confirmed their identities as of press time.

The husband and wife were staying in Room 208 of the Beauty Inn, which is part of the partially collapsed Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial and residential complex in downtown Hualien, according to the CEOC.

According to the Chinese-language Apple Daily, the couple's children made a call for help on their Chinese-speaking friend's Facebook page Thursday, asking for assistance to locate their parents, with whom they were unable to make contact following the quake.

According to the post, the Sos were originally from Hong Kong but have Canadian nationality, the post said.

As of press time, eight people remained unaccounted for, while nine people have been confirmed dead and 270 have been injured, according to the latest figures from the CEOC.

Two German nationals were rescued from the Beauty Inn a day earlier, according to rescuers.

National Fire Agency Disaster Management Section Chief Lee Kuo-ling (李國齡) told CNA that the two are a couple staying in Room 217 of the Beauty Inn and were backpacking in Hualien. The two suffered no injuries and left the scene after their rescue without leaving their names, she said. Hualien tourism officials quoted tour agency sources as the German man is surnamed Hess.

(By Joseph Yeh and Shih Hsiu-chuan)