Thu, Feb 08, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Executive Yuan gives NT$300m to disaster relief

SAVING LIVES:President Tsai Ing-wen instructed all rescue workers in Hualien to concentrate their efforts on identifying victims who may be trapped in the rubble

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen, center right, accompanied by military officers inspects rescue efforts at the Yun Men Tsui Ti building in Hualien yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The Executive Yuan is to provide NT$300 million (US$10.25 million) in disaster relief funds in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Hualien County on Tuesday night, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday.

Lai made the announcement while presiding over an ad hoc meeting at the Central Emergency Operation Center in New Taipei City, which is coordinating rescue efforts and assessing damage in the aftermath of the magnitude 6.0 quake.

The fund is to be allocated to the Hualien County Government to assist those affected by the quake and respond to the emergency needs of residents, Lai said.

Families of those killed in the earthquake are to each receive NT$800,000 in relief funds, including NT$400,000 from the government-led Relieve Disaster Foundation, NT$200,000 from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and NT$200,000 from the county government, he said.

People severely injured in the earthquake would receive NT$250,000, including NT$100,000 from the foundation, NT$100,000 from the county government and NT$50,000 from the ministry, the premier said.

Each stage of the rescue effort has a different emphasis, with the first focused on rescuing, accommodating and hospitalizing victims; the second on ensuring a steady water supply and ascertaining whether underground gas pipelines and cables have ruptured to prevent further casualties; and the third on ensuring the integrity of roads and bridges in the region, Lai said.

The government would subsidize people who need to relocate in accordance with due procedure, he said.

An intergovernmental meeting is to be held to devise plans on repairing damaged roads and collapsed buildings, he added.

Considering the expected protracted time required to complete the rescue mission and restoration work, Lai said that all Cabinet agencies would do their utmost to “tide Hualien over.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday visited Hualien City to inspect affected sites and instructed all rescue workers to concentrate their efforts on identifying victims who might still be trapped in the rubble.

The top priority is to save as many lives as possible, Tsai said after she was briefed by county government officials and military personnel who were participating in rescue efforts.

All concerned agencies are to salvage public infrastructure, thereby helping residents return to their normal lives, the president said.

Tsai said she telephoned Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi(傅崐萁) at about 2am yesterday to ask whether he had any specific requests of the central government to aid disaster relief efforts, while emphasizing that the central government is prepared to offer the county any assistance required.

Immediately after the earthquake hit, Tsai said she instructed the Ministry of National Defense and other agencies to deploy the resources necessary for the rescue mission.

She called on people to show patience and resilience in the face of the disaster, and assured the public of the government’s commitment to “rebuild Hualien.”

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