S'pore couple, both 47, on vacation in Taiwan, missing after earthquake

They boarded a sightseeing bus along the Taroko line.

Winnie Li | Khine Zin Htet | April 06, 2024, 05:50 PM



A couple from Singapore, who was vacationing in Taiwan, has been reported missing following the Hualien earthquake on Apr. 3.

A family member of theirs shared with Mothership that the couple, Neo Siew Choo and Sim Hwee Kok (both transliteration from Mandarin), are both 47 years old and were in Taiwan for a vacation.

A volunteer with a search and rescue team in Taiwan also posted on the Hualien Earthquake Relief information Facebook group to seek information from anyone who had last heard from the couple.

Took sightseeing bus

According to the volunteer, who goes by the username Sunny Sandro Wang, the couple were Australian passport holders.

The family member confirmed with Mothership that the couple were both born in Singapore but had moved to Australia.

On Apr. 3, the pair had boarded a sightseeing bus along the Taroko line at 6:30am, Wang wrote.

Taroko National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and is a popular tourist destination.

While they were scheduled to arrive at the Tian Hsiang terminal at 8am, the couple got off early and their last location is still unclear.

Wang added that the police have tried to locate them through their phones but to no avail.

"The police will continue locating the couple to help with the rescue mission. They will check the bus’ dash cameras and the driver to find out the exact location the couple alighted so as to help with the rescue mission," Wang wrote in a comment under his original post.

Family members informed

Both families of the couple have since been informed of the couple's missing status, the family member said.

They are in the process of discussing plans for their next course of action.

"We hope that everyone can keep my aunt and uncle-in-law in their prayers. Thank you," they added.

Wang also updated his post to say the families are making arrangements to travel to Taiwan.

He urged anyone who has made any contact with the couple to share information so as to locate them as soon as possible.

MFA assisting

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had said in a statement earlier on Apr. 5 that the Singapore Trade Office (STO) in Taipei is in close touch with local authorities on two Singaporeans who are currently missing.

MFA and the Singapore Trade Office have contacted their next-of-kin and are rendering consular assistance.

"We continue to monitor the situation closely," an MFA spokesperson said in response to Mothership queries.

MFA has also reached out to all e-registered Singaporeans in the regions affected by the earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan.

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Top photo via 花蓮地震救災即時資訊/Facebook