Mon, Dec 24, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Government offers disaster relief in wake of tsunami

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

The government yesterday said it was willing to provide all necessary assistance to Indonesia in the wake of a tsunami that struck coastal areas throughout the Sunda Strait on Saturday night, killing at least 222 people.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed concern about the disaster and said that the government is prepared to help those affected in whatever way it can, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said the ministry was ready to deploy a C-130 transport plane to help with disaster relief.

Ger Bau-shuan (葛葆萱), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, called Indonesian Representative Didi Sumedi to extend the nation’s condolences and deepest sympathies to those affected by the tsunami, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Tourism Bureau confirmed that eight Taiwanese tourists were stuck in Indonesia’s Banten Province.

As some of travelers were reported to have sustained injuries, the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta has entrusted Taiwanese expatriates in Indonesia with the task of assisting injured travelers in seeking treatment at local hospitals first, the bureau said, adding the office would send representatives to help.

A Central News Agency report quoted the Three-Wheels Foundation — formed by Taiwanese businesspeople in Indonesia — as saying that most of the Taiwanese were from a family surnamed Wu (吳), who traveled independently to the province for a family vacation.

Some of them were injured fleeing the water, the report said.

The bureau said that it had not yet received reports of injury to Taiwanese on group tours in Indonesia.

Nevertheless, it has relayed information to the Travel Agents’ Association, which should notify tour groups to be on the alert for developments in a disaster area.

Although Banten is known for its wilderness areas and sandy beaches, no Taiwanese travel agencies arrange group tours there, said Best Way Travel vice president Coco Yu (俞示芬), who is also spokesperson for the Travel Quality Assurance Association’s Southeast Asian tours division.

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