By Arjay L. Balinbin

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) has confirmed on Wednesday, Feb. 7, that a Filipino is missing after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan.

“A team from the Manila Economic and Cultural Office – Taipei led by the Labor Attache, Atty. Cesar Chavez, is in Hualien to personally check on the condition of Filipinos in the area,” said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – Office of Public Diplomacy(OPD) executive director Charmaine Rowena C. Aviquivil in a Viber message to reporters.

As of Wednesday, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), “there are five dead, 254 injured, and 88 unaccounted for” in the aftermath of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that “hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday.”

“Most of the damage is concentrated in four buildings in downtown Hualien, with the four of the five dead all staying at the partially collapsed Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial/residential building,” the news agency said.

Asked how many Filipinos currently reside in the affected area, Ms. Aviquivil said: “Around 133,000 as of June 2017.”