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Canadian still missing in wake of devastating earthquake in Taiwan

Pair of Canadian tourists ‘successfully rescued’ from a national park after 7.2-magnitude quake
Taiwan’s top diplomat in Ottawa says a Canadian is missing in the wake of the powerful earthquake that hit the island this week, while two Canadian tourists have been “successfully rescued” from a national park. A structural engineer takes samples from a leaning building a day after a powerful earthquake struck, in Hualien City, eastern Taiwan, Thursday, April 4, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chiang Ying-ying

Global Affairs Canada and Taiwan’s top diplomat in Ottawa say a Canadian is missing in Taiwan after the powerful earthquake that hit the island this week.

Global Affairs spokesman Pierre Cuguen says consular officials are providing assistance to the family and are in contact with local authorities.

He says further details can’t be released due to privacy concerns.

Taiwan’s representative in Canada,Harry Tseng, said earlier that a Canadian was missing after Wednesday’s 7.2-magnitude quake, while two tourists from Canada had been “successfully rescued” from a national park.

Tseng said he had no details about the missing person, but the rescued Canadians, who were previously reported to be on a hiking trail in the Taroko Gorge, don’t have serious injuries.

He said it was hoped that rescue crews could locate the missing person by the end of Thursday.

Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency wire service, citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says a total of three Canadians were rescued from the quake zone, with a fourth still missing.

Taiwan’s firefighting service had said in a Facebook post Wednesday that two Canadians were among a group of people stranded by rock slides on a trail in Taroko National Park, a well-known hiking destination.

Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operations Centre said the island’s most powerful earthquake in 25 years left 10 people dead, 705 trapped, 11 missing and 1,099 injured.

It was centred off Hualien County, 150 kilometres south of Taipei.

The Central News Agency report said that one Indian national and two Australians were also missing after the quake, and that 71 foreign nationals had been rescued.

“A number of representatives from foreign countries in Taiwan expressed their sincere gratitude to the rescue crews and Taiwan authorities for their terrific support and help,” read the report in Chinese.

Tseng said he had been overwhelmed with messages of support and concern from Canadian officials, showing the “strong solidarity between Canada and the people in Taiwan.”

He said “the worst is over now.”

“People in Taiwan demonstrated our strength, and resilience, and we hope that all those people who are affected can return to their normal lives as soon as possible,” he said.

READ ALSO: Canadians in Taiwan describe chaos and violent shaking during quake