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June 30, 2017

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No Taiwanese casualties in strong quake in Chile

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- No reports were received of Taiwanese casualties in the wake of the magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile late Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

"According to information obtained by Taiwan's representative offices in Chile and in neighboring Peru, there have been no reports of Taiwanese nationals there being injured so far during the earthquake," MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) told reporters yesterday.

The two representative offices will continue to keep close tabs on the situation and maintain close contact with local governments to learn the latest updates of the earthquake, she added.

Taiwan does not have official diplomatic ties with the two Southern American countries but has set up representative offices in both nations.

According to MOFA, there are a total of 1,200 Taiwanese currently living in Chile, mostly in the country's capital Santiago. Another 400 R.O.C. nationals live in Peru. Most of these nationals are businesspeople, MOFA said.

According to foreign media reports, the 8.2 magnitude quake has struck off northern Chile, triggering a tsunami alert and killing at least five people.

It also caused landslides and the evacuation of coastal areas, according to foreign reports. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in affected areas, where a state of emergency has been declared.

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