Taipei, Twelve Taiwanese citizens who were trapped near the epicenter of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that hit Indonesia last Friday are confirmed to be safe and have left the affected areas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.
The earthquake and a subsequent tsunami battered Sulawesi Island last Friday, leaving more than 1,000 people dead.
MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (???) said Tuesday that Taiwan's representative offices in Jakarta and Surabaya have made contact with 12 Taiwanese nationals who were trapped in the affected areas.
Of that group, three were Taiwanese businesspeople working in the forestry industry who were based in Palu in central Sulawesi near where the earthquake struck.
They were trapped in a mountainous part of the area following the earthquake but are safe and have left the city on their own, Lee said.
Among the other nine Taiwanese, five were stuck in the city at the time of the earthquake and four were trapped in Mutiara SIS Al Jufri Airport in Palu.
The group of five later left the affected area on their own, while the four left the airport by boarding an Indonesian military aircraft after Taiwanese officials asked the Indonesian side to help the four Taiwanese citizens, Lee said.
Benson Lin (???), head of Taiwan's representative office in Surabaya, also personally visited the Palu airport, and Indonesian military officials told Lin that no Taiwanese had been found killed or injured during the quake, Lee said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel