Filipina believed trapped in collapsed Hualien building

Filipina caregiver is still unaccounted for and is likely trapped in a collapsed building in Hualien after deadly earthquake

Image of Melody Albano Castro posted on Facebook.

Image of Melody Albano Castro posted on Facebook.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A female Philippine national, who is currently unaccounted for, is likely among those still trapped inside a collapsed 12-story building in Hualien, after a deadly magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck the area on Tuesday (Feb. 6), reported CNA.

The 28-year-old woman, who works as a caregiver for a Japanese couple, has been identified by Melody Albano Castro by the Manila Bulletin. The family that she cares includes a 63-year-old woman, her 68-year-old husband, who is disabled from a stroke, and the elderly woman's mute younger brother.

The elderly woman, identified as Shumin Okubo (大久保淑珉), told CNA that Castro was in the living room with her younger brother when the earthquake hit. When her brother was rescued, he told emergency workers that Castro was still inside, according to Okubo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs listed another Philippine national as having received treatment for minor injuries sustained during the quake. Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) chief Angelito Banayo told the Manila Bulletin that they were unable to identify the Filipino as the person had been discharged from the hospital before the organization was able to contact them.

Chairwoman of Migrante International-Taiwan Chapter, Gilda Cabing, on the organization's Taiwan chapter Facebook page advised fellow Filipinos to contact them if they knew of the whereabouts of Castro and to notify them immediately if they know any other Philippine nationals who had been affected by the Hualien earthquake.

The total number of missing persons following the quake has been revised down to 10, after 12 residents for the Guosheng Sixth Street apartment had been located. The remaining missing are three residents of the apartment section of Yun Men Tsui Ti, including Castro, while there are seven guests who were staying in the Beauty Inn, which was on the second and third floors of the building, both of which collapsed.

Those who are missing from the Beauty Inn include a couple from Hong Kong registered under the name Peter So and a family of five. The family included four adults and one child, who were identified as Ting Wne-chang (丁文昌), Ting Shou-hui (丁守慧), Ho Feng-hua (何鳳華), and Yang Hao-jan (楊浩然).

According to MOFA, a total of 31 foreigners have been affected by the Hualien earthquake, most of whom have only suffered minor injuries. Among the injured foreign nationals who have received treatment for minor injuries include, 10 Japanese, 14 South Koreans, one Filipino, two Singaporeans, two Czechs, one Thai, and one Indian. Among those injured, only one Thai and one Japanese citizen are still being hospitalized.

In addition, the the UK representative office in Taipei told CNA last evening that one British male traveler suffered minor abrasions in the Hualien earthquake. He was soon released after receiving treatment for his injuries in a local hospital.

The death toll from the magnitude 6.0 earthquake has risen to nine, while 270 have sustained injuries, according the Central Emergency Operation Center.

Rescue workers standing in front of Yun Men Tsui Ti building. (CNA image)