President Chen Shui-bian (
"My country has just felt the effects of one of the most serious typhoons in 40 years. Thankfully, the damage was less than might have been expected because of an efficient prevention system," Chen said to President Idriss Bedy of Chad.
"I would like to express my sincere apology to the people of Chad for having to shorten my visit here," Chen said, adding that he thanked the people for their understanding.
Bedy said that a leader must attend to the concerns of his people.
"As the leader of a country, I surely understand your concerns. If I were you, I would do the same thing," Bedy said, recalling the time in 1997 when he was visiting Taiwan and a typhoon had ripped across the island.
The Presidential Office held a press conference yesterday morning to give details of Chen's schedule for today after he arrives at around 3pm.
"Premier Tang Fei (
Chen Che-nan added that he, the president and Tang would board an official flight after the president's arrival at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport and fly directly to typhoon-affected areas including the townships of Puli (
According to Chen Che-nan, President Chen will arrive in Puli township at 4:20pm and make an inspection tour at housing developments in the Niuman area (
Then at 5:30pm, the president will arrive in the township of Shuili and join Chief of the General Staff Tang Yao-ming (
The president will also visit eastern Taiwan including Hualien County tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Tang, accompanied by Minister of the Interior Chang Po-ya (
Tang further instructed that power supplies to the three hardest-hit Hualien townships -- Juisui (
The Council of Agriculture said the worst damage was to Taitung County.
Total damages in agriculture, forestry, fishery and live stock are estimated at NT$4.05 billion.
"The southeastern area where the typhoon made landfall was the worst hit with an estimated damage worth NT$926 million," the council said.
Tang also said he would direct the Cabinet to study the feasibility of offering financial compensation or loans to people whose houses were damaged or destroyed during the typhoon. Prior to the 921 earthquake, the government did not offer compensation for damage to real estate from typhoons.
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