A historian called yesterday for stronger conservation measures for Lo Sheng ("Happy Life") Sanatorium after discovering fossils at the construction site of an MRT maintenance depot last month.
The Taipei County sanatorium is a sprawling complex built during the Japanese colonial era to isolate people suffering from Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy. Plans to tear down most of the sanatorium's buildings to make room for an MRT maintenance depot have met with strong opposition.
Activists protested the demolition on the grounds that it meant evicting its residents.
PHOTO: LOA IOK-SIN, TAIPEI TIMES
They received support for their cause when Tamsui-based historian Chi Jung-ta (
"The hills [of Lo Sheng] are composed of sedimentary rocks, which contain fossilized remains of prehistoric marine life such as seashells, since [the area] was once seabed," Chi explained to the Taipei Times in a telephone interview.
After consulting with Chen Wen-shan (陳文山), a geoscience professor at National Taiwan University, Chi said that the fossils belonged to the Pliocene era, "which is at least 5 million years before our time," Chi said, adding that further examination would be needed to gain a more detailed picture.
Unfortunately, a lot of the rocks with fossils have been destroyed, Chi said.
"When I went to the construction site in June, I saw them [construction workers] breaking the rocks into sandstone to use as construction material," he said.
Chi said there were many tombs of Chinese settlers from the Qing Dynasty within Lo Sheng's perimeter.
"We could make the entire area into an on-site exhibition not only of Taiwan's public health history, but also of the history of settlers and of paleontology," Chi said.
Fang Juang-lih (
"I've asked the [Taipei] County Cultural Affairs Bureau and the construction firm to further investigate the matter and submit a report," he said.
"We'll decide what to do after receiving the report," he said.
Although the discovery was made last month, the construction was only halted on Tuesday after an assistant to Taipei City Councilor Lin Jui-tu (
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,