Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese girl reported missing after earthquake

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The daughter of a Taiwanese working in Haiti has been reported missing after the devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean country on Tuesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) deputy spokesman James Chang (章計平) said yesterday.

The ministry earlier reported that the girl, the daughter of an engineer working at the Overseas Engineering Construction Company, had been killed, but later said that its office in Haiti was looking for the girl.

It said it was also checking reports that a Taiwanese backpacker may be among the missing after the deadly 7.0 magnitude temblor struck.

Taiwanese Ambassador to Haiti Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生), who sustained a bone fracture in his left leg, and Chi Wang-teh (齊王德), a consul at the embassy, who suffered injuries to his back and chest, have been transported to the Dominican Republic for treatment and may be moved to Miami if needed, said Domingo Ja (查岱明), a counselor at the Taiwanese embassy in the Dominican Republic.

The two men were trapped under the rubble for six hours after the Taiwanese embassy building collapsed during the temblor.

MOFA said a 23-member search-and-rescue team from Taiwan, accompanied by sniffer dogs, was expected to arrive in Santo Domingo early this morning. They will fly to Port-au-Prince immediately to meet other international relief workers and begin rescue efforts.

The team from Taiwan is bringing more than 3,000kg of equipment and goods, the ministry said, adding that another team of medical and relief workers is standing by and will be mobilized when needed.

One of Taiwan’s 23 allies, Haiti has more than 30 nationals living in Taiwan, mostly students.

Marcus Boereau, a Haitian student at Tamkang University, said although his mother and brother were spared in the earthquake, he couldn’t reach his older sister who worked at the UN building that collapsed.

Another Haitian student’s boyfriend died in the temblor, he said.

“This is not just a Haitian problem, but a human problem. We need to stand together to help the people,” he said.

Taiwan’s International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) has several technical and agricultural assistance missions in Haiti.

ICDF secretary-general Tao Wen-lung (陶文隆) said the agricultural mission stationed in the Dominican Republic was planning to send rice to Haiti to help combat food shortages.

Another shipment of 200 tonnes of rice by the Council of Agriculture is expected to arrive later this month, the council said.

Aside from donating US$200,000 on Wednesday, MOFA said yesterday that Taiwan was giving another US$300,000 to help quake victims.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LOA IOK-SIN AND SHIH HSIU-CHUAN

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