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Hualien magistrate vows ongoing rescue effort

2018/02/09 22:17:09

Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁, center)

Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) Hualien County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) vowed Friday to continue with efforts to rescue people trapped in a building in Hualien City that partially collapsed during a magnitude 6.0 earthquake late Tuesday.

"We won't give up on any opportunity to rescue the victims. More than 90 rescue workers are still working in shifts searching for people who remain unaccounted for," Fu told reporters at the site of the Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial and residential building.

"Even if the golden 72 hours are slipping away and there is only a 0.1 percent chance (of saving them), we will continue to search for the five Chinese tourists who remain missing," he said.

The five Chinese tourists were staying at the Beauty Inn in a room located on the second floor of the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, which collapsed downwards and tilted over during the earthquake.

Hualien County Fire Department chief Lin Wen-jui (林文瑞) said rescuers are still trying to get to Room 201, and stressed that "we won't tear down the building rashly and will do our best to find them."

Fu also urged people from across society to donate money for relief efforts and also asked companies to dispatch heavy machines to Hualien to help the county continue with the rescue mission that has lasted more than 67 hours.

As of 8 p.m., the earthquake had left at least 12 dead, 279 injured and five missing. The five are four adults and a child from China, who are thought to be trapped in Room 201 of the Beauty Inn.

(By Miao Tsung-han and Flor Wang)
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