Quake rocks nation
An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 rocked the nation yesterday, swaying buildings in Taipei, the Central Weather Bureau’s Seismology Center said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake, which hit at 5.34pm, was felt throughout the country, seismologists said, although they issued no tsunami alert. They put its location as 20km northeast of Hsiulin (秀林), Hualien County, with a depth of 8km. It was one of a series of 18 earthquakes to strike the nation yesterday.
achieves 90.7% rate
The Taiwan Water Corporation (TWC) said yesterday that as of late last year it had achieved an average penetration rate of 90.7 percent. The current average water supply penetration rate of over 90 percent is much higher than the average 42.66 percent posted in 1974, when the company was established, a spokesman for the state-run company said. According to TWC statistics, the highest penetration rate was in Tainan City, with 99.88 percent of its households on the water mains. Chiayi City was second, with 99.66 percent of residences supplied by the company. A rate of more than 90 percent was recorded for 12 other cities and counties, including Taipei, Ilan and Taoyuan counties as well as Keelung and Hsinchu cities. The others included Changhua and Yunlin counties, Taichung City, Tainan County, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County and Penghu County. The lowest penetration rate — 45.13 percent — was in Pingtung County, which is one of the key issues that county authorities are waiting to have resolved. TWC supplies water to 22 cities and counties on Taiwan proper and on the island counties, including Penghu. It serves some 17.3 million people, but its service does not cover Taipei City or some areas of the adjoining Taipei County.
■ ENERGY EPA
appeals for tips
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is encouraging people to contribute energy-saving tips on its Eco-Life Web site, part of its campaign to curb carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA said in a statement that Eco-Life is intended as a platform where people can share tips to reduce energy consumption. They can set up personal blogs on ways to save energy and add links to the Web site. On Saturday, the EPA rewarded those who came up with the best energy-saving strategies. The top prize went to a woman from Hualien surnamed Hsu (?who used the black nets used by farmers and hung them above her roof to help protect against excess heat. At night, Hsu said she only needed to turn on electric fans and did not have to use an air conditioner. The EPA said that the campaign would continue for about a year.
Digital Art Center opens
The Digital Art Center was opened in Taipei yesterday, with the city vowing to make it the hub of the industry in Asia and the world. Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) said the long-awaited project was aimed at serving the community, but it hoped it would become a digital art center for the the country, Asia and the world. The department began the plan to turn a wholesale meat market into its present guise in 2003. The center is now run by the Digital Art Foundation. While the first floor is for public services, the second floor houses a mini film studio, an audio visual lab, a sound art lab and an interactive works lab.