Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) Saving lives knows no boundaries, President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted on Friday, expressing sympathy for the five Chinese nationals believed to be trapped in a 12-story building that partially collapsed in an earthquake in Hualien late Tuesday.
"We will not give up any hope," Tsai said, calling for the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to pray for their safety.
"We hereby extend our deepest sympathies to the families affected by the disaster," she said on Twitter.
A family of five, the Chinese visitors were staying at the Beauty Inn in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building, one of the structures that tipped over in the magnitude 6.0 earthquake late Tuesday.
They have been identified as Ding Wenchang and He Fenghua , ages 76 and 75; Yang Jie and Ding Shouhui , ages 39 and 40; and their 12-year-old son Yang Haoran .
Efforts are still being made to reach the room in the collapsed portion of the building where they were thought to be staying.
As of 8 p.m., the death toll in the Hualien earthquake has reached 12, with the five Chinese still unaccounted for.
The number of people injured has also reached 279, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center.