Thu, Jul 08, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Chen urges leave for troops from storm-hit homes

CNA , TAIPEI

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has instructed Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) to study whether to grant military personnel early discharges to help with reconstruction efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Mindulle, an official from the Presidential Office said yesterday.

The official said Chen has asked Lee to find out immediately if any military personnel have family members who died or had their homes destroyed in the storm and to establish whether it is possible to grant them early discharges or longer leave periods so that they can return to their homes to help with reconstruction efforts.

DISASTER

Mindulle brought mudslides torrential rain and causing many mudslides. Central and southern Taiwan were especially hard-hit.

The Central Disaster Prevention Center, using figures compiled from local fire departments, as well as national and local rescue centers, reported that the death toll had fallen to 25, with 12 still missing and 16 people injured.

It said that between June 30 and yesterday afternoon, 2,337 people had been rescued, while 5,513 people had been evacuated.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said it has put all-out efforts into disaster relief work, working around the clock.

INSPECTIONS

The ministry deployed an additional 100,000 military personnel and various types of vehicles and planes yesterday to support the disaster relief efforts in central Taiwan, beginning with inspection and repair of damaged roads and bridges.

The spokesman also said that the ministry deployed 12,000 military personnel, flew 70 sorties, made 277 vehicle journeys and 137 heavy machinery deployments on Tuesday for reconstruction work in Taichung, Hualien, Chiayi, Nantou, Miaoli, Changhwa, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Pingtung and Yunlin counties.

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