Authorities were trying to locate about 100 fishermen working on 35 Taiwanese-registered fishing boats near the Thai resort of Phuket that were either picked up by tsunamis and dumped on land or have disappeared at sea.
"Some of the boats were thrown on to land by the waves," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday.
Some of the fishing vessels were at sea when the waves hit on Sunday, while others were docked next to the island.
Poor communications with the area was making it difficult to obtain accurate information on the heath and well-being of the fishermen, he said.
Taiwanese news media have put the number of workers on the fishing boats at more than 100 people.
Taiwan's death toll from the disaster stands at one. A 25-year-old man died on Phuket, while two others on the island for a golfing holiday were missing after being swept away by waves.
Four Taiwanese were in hospitals on the resort island and more than 200 Taiwanese tourists were still waiting to leave Phuket.
A disaster assistance team left Taipei yesterday for Medan on Sumatra, which was near the epicenter of Sunday's 9.0-magnitude quake, which sent tsunamis slamming into coastlines across Asia killing at least 23,000 people.
The team's 10 members were carrying tents, sleeping bags, food and medicine, the foreign ministry said. The group included firefighters and representatives from the Red Cross and other religious and humanitarian relief organizations.
Another team of 35 rescue workers was also leaving yesterday for Phuket, Lu said.
The government has pledged NT$3.2 million (US$100,000) to Indonesia for relief efforts. Thailand, India and Sri Lanka would receive NT$1.6 million each, the government said.