Have established contact with two nationals in Taiwan, says MEA

NEW DELHI, Apr 4: India has established contact with two of its nationals reported to be missing following an earthquake in Taiwan and they are safe, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Randhir Jaiswal, the minister spokesperson, said this in his weekly briefing in response to a question.

“As per our information, two persons, we were not able to establish contact in the wake of the earthquake there (in Taiwan). But now, we have established contact and they are safe,” he said.

The strongest earthquake in a quarter century rocked Taiwan during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing 10 people, trapping dozens of miners and sending some residents scrambling out the windows of damaged buildings.

On Thursday, rescuers searched for dozens of people still missing a day after the powerful quake.

The quake, which also injured hundreds, was centred off the coast of the rural, mountainous Hualien County where some buildings leaned at severe angles, their ground floors crushed.

Just over 150 kilometres away in the capital of Taipei, tiles fell off older buildings, and schools evacuated their students to sports fields, equipping them with safety helmets.

Meanwhile, Jaiswal was also asked about the status of the return of the eighth Indian, who is among the eight former Indian Navy personnel recently released from jail by Qatar.

The spokesperson said, “He has certain requirements to fulfil. Once those requirements are fulfilled, he will come back”.

Qatar released the eight jailed former Indian Navy personnel 46 days after their death sentences, handed out last October, were commuted to jail terms of varying duration. (PTI)