Taiwan to offer help to family of Filipina killed in Hualien earthquake

Melody Albano Castro was the breadwinner of a family of five, including a 6-year-old daughter

Image of Melody Albano Castro posted on Facebook.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a Filipino woman was found dead on February 8 at one of the buildings that collapsed during the Hualien earthquake, Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines said on Friday the country would help her family with traveling to Taiwan for posthumous arrangements.

Melody Albano Castro, 28, was a caregiver to a Japanese couple living in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building in Hualien, which was left tilting precariously on its foundation after a quake with a magnitude of 6.0 wrecked havoc in the city located in eastern Taiwan near midnight on February 6.

The Central News Agency reported that after Castro's husband was paralyzed in an accident, she became the breadwinner in the family of five, including her parents. Castro had a daughter, aged six.

Lin Sung-huan (林松煥), representative to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, told GMA News TV during an interview that he offered condolences to the bereaved family. 

Lin added that the office would help Castro's family with traveling to Taiwan for posthumous arrangements and other needs.

Lito Banayo, chairman of Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, and Albert del Rosario, former Foreign Minister of the Philippines, also expressed their condolences to the family. 

"It is really sad because we were hoping against hope that she [Castro] would be able to survive,” Banayo told ABS-CBN News.

Banayo added the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration would contact the family for lending assistance.

The earthquake has so far claimed 12 lives and left 276 people injured. The rescue teams are still looking for five missing people in the rubble of four collapsed or tilted buildings.

On the other hand, Taiwanese communities in the Philippines have raised among themselves over NT$2.5 million (PHP$4 million) donation intended for those affected during the earthquake, the CNA reported.