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Donations for quake relief top NT$116.84 million as rescue effort continues

04/07/2024 09:20 PM
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Nine people trapped in Datong and Dali tribal areas in Hualien County's Xiulin Township are airlifted from the mountainous area on Sunday. Photo courtesy of National Airborne Service Corps April 7, 2024
Nine people trapped in Datong and Dali tribal areas in Hualien County's Xiulin Township are airlifted from the mountainous area on Sunday. Photo courtesy of National Airborne Service Corps April 7, 2024

Taipei, April 7 (CNA) Over NT$116.84 million (US$3.6 million) has been donated to boost the relief effort in eastern Taiwan's Hualien County after the area was hit by the country's strongest earthquake in 25 years, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) said Sunday.

As of 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, the month-long charity campaign that kicked off on April 4 had seen 82,023 donations, the ministry said in a news release.

As of Sunday, six people were still missing, while 278 others had been evacuated, after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck off Taiwan's eastern coast on April 3, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC).

The nine people rescued by the National Airborne Service Corps undergo simple injury checks at a temporary nursing station on Sunday. CNA photo April 7, 2024
The nine people rescued by the National Airborne Service Corps undergo simple injury checks at a temporary nursing station on Sunday. CNA photo April 7, 2024

The missing individuals consisted of one Taiwanese national at a quarry, as well as three Taiwanese nationals and a Singaporean couple along the Shakadang Trail at Taroko National Park, according to the CEOC.

Regarding rescue efforts on the trail, the three Taiwanese are likely somewhere around the 0.5 kilometer- mark, while the Singaporean couple, both of whom also hold Australian citizenship, are likely to be around the 1.5-km mark, the CEOC said.

Walls destroyed by the earthquake that hit on April 3 are pictured in this photo taken in Hualien County on Sunday. CNA photo April 7, 2024
Walls destroyed by the earthquake that hit on April 3 are pictured in this photo taken in Hualien County on Sunday. CNA photo April 7, 2024

Rescuers have stepped up efforts to search for the missing, employing tools such as drones, surveillance camera footage and excavators to locate and access areas where they could be, officials said.

Meanwhile, 278 people have been evacuated, leaving only 38 others who are voluntarily staying in various locations such as Silks Place Taroko Hotel and Tianxiang Youth Activity Center, according to the CEOC.

(By Lee Hsien-feng, Yeh Su-ping and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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