Dignitaries and friends from 97 nations and organizations have offered their condolences to Taiwan following the deadly train crash in Hualien County on Friday last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that a message from India was significant.
As of noon yesterday, 846 government officials, lawmakers, academics or group representatives from 97 nations and international organizations had offered their condolences to the families of the victims of the train crash, the ministry said.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi on Saturday last week wrote on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the railway accident in Taiwan. Our deepest condolences to the families. And our prayers for the early recovery of the injured.”
It was the first time that the ministry had publicly expressed its grief over a major accident in Taiwan since the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India was established in 1995, which is significant for bilateral relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
In Taipei, India-Taipei Association Director-General Gourangalal Das had also expressed his condolences on the day of the accident, Ou said, adding that the two nations continue to deepen relations in different areas.
One French national and two Americans were killed in the accident, while one Australian and two Japanese were injured, Ou said.
The ministry is working with the representative offices of those nations, as well as government agencies, to provide the families with the necessary assistance, she said.
Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand yesterday also sent her condolences via Twitter.
Addressing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Streisand wrote: “My heart breaks for you and your country. Reading about this accident brings tears to my eyes for all of these amazing people who lost their precious lives.”
“It’s a tough time for everyone in Taiwan, but we remain strong & will get through this together,” Wu wrote on Twitter in response.
Typhoon Chanthu could make landfall as far north as Yilan or Hualien counties late tomorrow night, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, adding that a land alert could be issued this afternoon or tomorrow morning. The bureau also said that it could possibly issue a sea alert late last night or early this morning. As of 2pm yesterday, Chanthu was 960km southeast of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 15kph, but was projected to shift northward as it approached the Taiwan Strait due to a weakening Pacific high-pressure system, the bureau said. The bureau is closely monitoring the typhoon,
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