Search on for 2 Indians missing in quake-hit Taiwan; death toll reaches 9

Reports said over 1,000 people were injured in the 7.4 magnitude temblor

Taiwan earthquake Debris surrounds a titled building a day after a powerful earthquake struck, in Hualien City, eastern Taiwan, on April 4, 2024 | AP

Two Indian nationals went missing in Taiwan on Wednesday after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the island.

The duo, a man and a woman, were last spotted in Taroko Gorge, near the epicentre of the earthquake in Hualien. A search operation is underway.

Latest reports pegged the death toll at nine with several hundreds of people injured. The authorities said 70 workers were trapped in two rock quarries on the island. At least 52 people were missing, according to Taiwan's fire department.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed grief following the quake. "Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to earthquakes in Taiwan today. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured. We stand in solidarity with the resilient people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath and recover from it," he posted on X.

In response, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday thanked Modi for the support. "We are deeply grateful for your kind words and support,@narendramodi, at this challenging time. Your solidarity means a great deal to the people of Taiwan as we all work toward a swift recovery," he said.

Taiwanese Vice-President Lai Ching-te thanked the PM for the "heartwarming" message. "Your support & solidarity are a source of strength to the people of Taiwan during these trying times," he added.

The India Taipei Association, which issued an advisory for Indians staying in Taiwan and shared helpline numbers, also expressed condolences to the victims. "We sincerely pray for the speedy recovery of those injured and stand ready with the people of Taiwan during these difficult times #IslandOfResilience," it added.

Though India has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan, New Delhi established the India Taipei Association in 1995 to promote business, tourism and cultural exchanges. In response, Taiwan set up the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in Delhi the same year.

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