Canadian couple found dead in partially collapsed hotel after Taiwan quake


"As he encourages the civil authorities and emergency personnel engaged in the rescue efforts, His Holiness willingly invokes upon all the Taiwanese people the divine blessings of strength and peace", said the telegram, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.

Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, as they searched for about 60 people missing after a strong quake killed at least five near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien overnight.

National Fire Agency search and rescue team leader Liang Kuo-wei told AFP it had taken 12 hours to break through to the second-floor hotel room where the Canadian couple were staying.

"The lower floors of the 12-storey tower €" which also housed a hotel €" pancaked, leaving the structure leaning at a fifty-degree angle and sparking fears of an imminent collapse.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Thursday night confirmed that the missing Filipina from the 6.4 magnitude natural disaster that hit Hualien, Taiwan on Tuesday is found dead in the rubble of a building she was trapped in.

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The military will work with local government officials to develop a plan to demolish a hotel, a residential building and other unsafe buildings, it said in its statement.

Nine Japanese are among the 272 injured but their injuries are not life threatening, according to the Taiwan Foreign Ministry. Six mainland Chinese were also injured, the Chinese Communist Party-run People's Daily reported. As rescue efforts continue, Saint Lucia, having very close ties with Taiwan has reached out and extended condolences to the families of the victims. Its streets were buckled by the force of the quake, with about 40,000 homes left without water and about 1,900 without power.

"When I found out that my Yun Men Tsui Ti building had collapsed, I froze for a few minutes". Tsai said she "ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind". A quake two years ago collapsed an apartment complex in southern Taiwan, killing 115 people.

A magnitude 7.6 quake in central Taiwan killed more than 2,300 people in 1999.