Quake dead honored at Taiwan service
The 17 people who died last week after a strong earthquake hit Taiwan’s east coast were honored at a memorial service on Monday.
Fu Kun-chi, the magistrate of worst-hit Hualien county, spoke at the noon ceremony at a local funeral parlor.
The deceased include nine from China’s mainland, one Filipino and two Canadians.
The magnitude 6.4 quake last Tuesday also injured 280 people after several buildings were left tilting at dangerously sharp angles.
Fu announced the end of search efforts on Sunday with the consent of family members. The magistrate said the last two victims were trapped under heavy columns that could not be removed without risking the collapse of the entire 12-story Yunmen Tsuiti building, which housed a hotel on its lower floors.
The last bodies that were recovered belonged to members of a five-person family from Beijing, including parents, grandparents and their 12-year-old son.
An Fengshan, spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Monday that donors in the mainland had contributed nearly 21 million yuan (US$3.3 million) to the rescue efforts.
The earthquake has claimed the lives of nine mainland tourists, with six mainland tourists injured.
Authorities including the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits opened a fast-track for families of the victims to go to Taiwan and supported them to cope with the aftermath, An said.
An expressed gratitude to relevant parties in Taiwan, including Hualien county and rescue staff, for their full support in the rescue, and for their care and assistance to the injured mainland tourists and families of the deceased.