INTERNATIONAL

Three days after the earthquake, more than 600 people are still missing in Taiwan

Three days after Taiwan’s worst earthquake in 25 years, rescuers planned to send in heavy equipment on Saturday in an attempt to retrieve two remains trapped beneath stones on a hiking route.

Renowned for its rough and difficult terrain, Taroko National Park has four additional missing persons on the same Shakadang Trail. After being canceled Friday afternoon due to aftershocks, search and recovery operations were scheduled to restart.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake that occurred off the east coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning claimed the lives of at least 12 individuals, while ten more were reported missing.

More than 600 people were still stuck in different sites cut off by rockslides and other damage, including around 450 people in a hotel in the Taroko park.

Horrifying stories of pebbles falling onto roads and locking survivors in tunnels until help came to liberate them have been shared by survivors. A structure in Hualien that had been let to lean at an unsafe angle over a roadway was being carefully demolished.

The very low death toll from an earthquake of this magnitude has been ascribed to stringent building regulations and extensive public awareness initiatives on the island vulnerable to earthquakes.

2,400 people were killed in an earthquake in 1999 with a magnitude of 7.7.

A family of five is among the two dead and four missing people on the Shakadang Trail. Taiwanese media sources state that a man and a woman were among the imprisoned victims discovered on Friday; however, their identities remain unknown.

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