Connect with us


Search ongoing for missing Singaporean couple in Hualien earthquake

Search efforts persist for the missing Singaporean couple in Taiwan post-earthquake. A shoe, possibly belonging to them, found 0.85km into the Shakadang Trail on Monday, as reported by Taiwanese media.



TAIWAN: The search and rescue efforts continue for the Singaporean couple who remain missing in Taiwan following the island’s most severe earthquake in 25 years.

In a bid to assist the search, the family of the couple has provided the rescuers with the pair’s clothing, hoping to aid the sniffer dogs in their search.

The Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道) in Taroko National Park has been designated as a key search area.

On Monday (8 April), the local search and rescue team, as reported by Taiwan media, discovered a man’s shoe suspected to belong to the missing Singaporean couple at 0.85 kilometres into the trail.

The team plans to expand the search in that area on Tuesday to locate the missing couple as soon as possible.

Progressing into the seventh day since the earthquake struck, the search operation has extended to Taroko National Park.

A team of seven rescue officers, along with three dogs, is actively engaged in locating the missing couple, according to the Hualien County Fire Department.

The two Singaporeans, identified as Mr Sim Hwee Kok and Ms Neo Siew Choo, are among six individuals still unaccounted for since the 3 April earthquake.

On Monday, their sisters handed over clothing worn by Mr Sim and Ms Neo to the rescue team, facilitating the sniffer dogs’ ability to detect their scent at the site, as mentioned by Mr Wen Tsung-hao, leader of the special search and rescue team, to Taiwan’s United Daily News.

The couple, also holding Australian passports, were last seen disembarking from a bus on the Shakadang Trail in Hualien’s Taroko Gorge at approximately 7:20 a.m. on 3 April, as evidenced by CCTV footage from the vehicle.

Approximately 40 minutes later, the 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, with the epicentre located about 18 km southwest of Hualien City on the island’s east coast.

It has been reported that the missing couple’s family has requested privacy and declined interview requests, expressing their desire for a swift reunion with their loved ones.

On Monday morning, the fire department estimated the couple to be within 1.5 km of the Shakadang Trail, where the bulk of rescue efforts have been concentrated.

However, the search area was subsequently expanded following an unsuccessful search at a rest stop known as Wu Jian Wu (Five Houses in Mandarin, 五間屋).

Wilson, a rescue dog was the first to detect two casualties in rapid succession at a collapsed rubble site. Despite these efforts, the search for the Singaporean couple remains ongoing without success thus far.

The search and rescue team perseveres despite encountering obstacles such as large boulders, deep pools, and blocked lakes caused by collapsed cliffs.

Originally, a Taiwanese family surnamed You, consisting of five members, was on the Shakadang Trail.

On the 5th day, two bodies were found in a rockfall at 0.5 kilometres into the trail, identified by relatives as Mr You and his eldest daughter.

Mr You’s wife, son, and younger daughter are still unaccounted for, believed to be in the vicinity.

The Singaporean couple is suspected to have gone missing on the trail as well, estimated to be around 1.5 kilometres into the trail.

Last week, it was reported that Taiwanese authorities successfully rescued eight Singaporeans who were trapped in Taiwan due to the Hualien earthquake, part of a group of 71 foreigners caught in the aftermath of the earthquake.

According to the Taiwan National Fire Agency, as of 8th April at 9 pm, the latest 7.2 magnitude earthquake claimed the lives of 13 individuals and left over 1,143 others injured.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A lovely hike turned into a nightmare in just a minute.

When visiting seismically active parts of the world. Do take note of your surroundings. Once upon a time, situational awareness used to be a common skill. Not any longer.

Did SGov send some of our search & rescue teams..
Would help Taiwan greatly..

Hope they are found soon. Their families must be suffering.