Ilan rocked by 5-pointer
An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale shook Ilan County yesterday, but no damage or casualties were reported, the earthquake center and police said yesterday. The quake occurred at 1:01pm in the sea 29.8km northeast of Ilan, the center said in a statement.
Lo announces departure
President-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅致強) will leave his post on May 20 when Ma is inaugurated, Lo said on Saturday. Lo said Ma has approved his request to leave his post. As the spokesman for Ma ever since Ma set up his presidential campaign office last year, Lo had been widely believed to be in line for a senior post at the Presidential Office after Ma is inaugurated. Lo, who earned a master’s degree of law from the National Chengchi University, said he would like to pursue advanced studies abroad after leaving Ma’s office.
Amphitheater to open
The Fulfillment Amphitheater in Taichung City will reopen after an extension project is completed next February, the city government’s Cultural Affairs Bureau said. The theater, located in Wen Hsin Forest Park, is undergoing renovations to add a cover to its stage and install new state-of-the-art lighting and acoustics to facilitate world-class performances. Officials of the Cultural Affairs Bureau said the city government would select a public art work for the park from among seven proposals submitted, with construction work set to begin next month. The selected public artwork and the amphitheater’s covered stage will be inaugurated simultaneously early next year, they said. The amphitheater, completed in August 2006, is said to be the largest in Asia. Spread over 8.86 hectares, it has a seating capacity of 4,000.
Chen’s mother in hospital
Chen Lee-shen (陳李慎), the mother of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), was sent to National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan City for medical treatment late on Saturday night, the hospital confirmed yesterday morning. But the hospital refused to comment on her illness, saying that the information should be released by the Presidential Office. The president visited his mother in the hospital yesterday afternoon, but made no comment. The hospital said that the president’s mother is in a stable condition. She is being taken care of by the gastroenterology division of the Department of Internal Medicine.
Ministry gets water pumps
The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Water Resources Agency has acquired an additional 150 mobile water pumps to strengthen the nation’s flood control capability during the upcoming typhoon season, officials at the agency said yesterday. The officials noted that the effects of global warming in recent years have resulted in abnormal rainfall patterns, making flood control a more difficult job. They said the 150 mobile water pumps would be used to support the more than 500 pumps deployed along the river systems in the counties and cities, especially those in flood-prone areas. The agency has also asked all reservoir administrations in the country to monitor precipitation and inflow rates closely during typhoon season in order to give early flood warnings to residents in low-lying areas.