Donations to help those in need poured in yesterday, after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57am. At least 15 people were killed and more than 400 injured as of press time last night.
Among private donors, the Rong San Lin Foundation of Culture and Social Welfare (財團法人林榮三文化公益基金會) led the way, pledging NT$100 million (US$2.98 million) to the victims of the disaster. Mr Rong San Lin (林榮三) founded the Taipei Times and its sister paper the Liberty Times. He passed away on Nov. 28 last year.
Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑企業) pledged NT$50 million to help with emergency rescue efforts while Yulon Group (裕隆集團) pledged NT$10 million for the same purpose.
Photo: Chang Chung-i, Taipei Times
Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) and Himax Technologies Inc (奇景光電) announced they are to give NT$10 million each to the Tainan City Government to assist with disaster relief.
Ta Chong Bank (大眾銀行) said it would provide the necessary assistance to clients who have been affected by the earthquake — such as allowing loan holdovers — and that it would donate NT$20 million to the Tainan City Government for disaster relief. Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控) also said it would donate NT$20 million to the local government.
China Airlines (華航), Pxmart (全聯福利中心), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Cultural & Educational Foundation (日月光文教基金會), Farglory Group (遠雄集團) and Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) announced they would donate NT$10 million each for disaster relief, while Ting Hsin said it would also donate 3,000 blankets to two shelters located in Tainan to help those made homeless by the disaster.
Photo: Chang Chung-i, Taipei Times
Wistron Corp (緯創) said it would donate NT$6 million for disaster relief, and Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品工業) said it would donate NT$5 million and provide warm milk and food to victims of the disaster and to emergency rescue personnel.
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Chailease Finance Co (中租迪和) said they would donate NT$3 million each for disaster relief, while Acer Inc (宏碁) announced a donation of NT$1 million.
The Tainan City Government said it is to provide compensation of NT$2 million to the families of each of the deceased victims, NT$500,000 to each seriously injured victim to help with their medical expenses, NT$200,000 to each victim with mild injuries, and NT$100,000 for each household directly affected by the earthquake.
The Tainan City Government added that people who want to donate money can call its hotlines on (06) 299-5805 or (06) 299-1111, extension number 8061, or by transferring money to the Bank of Taiwan’s Tainan Branch, account number 00904506505, made payable to the “Tainan City Government’s Bureau of Social Affairs’ social assistance account” — adding a note to say it is for the earthquake relief.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday pledged NT$1 million to the relief effort, while KMT legislative caucus members pledged an additional day’s salary each.
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) pledged NT$1 million, and said that the New Taipei City Government had sent a rescue team to Tainan.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday pledged NT$3 million, while its legislative caucus donated NT$1 million to the relief effort.
President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she would donate NT$1 million.
Other personal donations by DPP lawmakers include NT$200,000 by newly elected Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and NT$100,000 from Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), while the legislature itself pledged NT$700,000.
Su also donated blood for earthquake survivors, with blood banks in southern Taiwan reported to be in short supply.
The DPP yesterday morning held an emergency meeting in response to the quake.
“Conclusions from the meeting include postponing Tsai’s Lunar New Year visits to temples and handing out red envelopes until Thursday; appointing the party secretary-general to assist in dealing with the aftermath in Tainan; and requesting local government heads in southern Taiwan assist with rescue efforts,” DPP spokesperson Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍) said.
Vice-president-elect Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) has also canceled most of his scheduled public events over the Lunar New Year period, but he said he still intends to attend Mass at the Holy Family Church in Taipei tomorrow.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who returned from a holiday in New Zealand after learning of the earthquake, yesterday announced she would donate one month’s salary to the relief efforts.
The Taichung City Government has drawn up a list of hotels and hostels that are to provide free or discounted accommodation for quake victims.
The Kinmen Country Government and Kaoliang Liquor company pledged NT$2 million for disaster relief for its sister city Tainan.
Meanwhile, celebrities at home and abroad have been making donations and sending messages of condolence and hope to Taiwanese following the deadly earthquake.
Taiwanese singer Jay Chou (周杰倫) pledged NT$2 million through his record company JVR Music, while Taiwanese record company B’in Music said on Facebook that the band Mayday (五月天) would donate NT$1 million on behalf of the record company’s artists.
Meanwhile Guy Orseary, manager of US superstar Madonna, who was set to give a second performance in her “Rebel Heart” tour in Taipei yesterday, said on Instagram: “Earthquake here in Taipei. 4 am. We are all ok. Hope that was the end of it.”
Supermodel Lin Chi-ling (林志玲) — who is from Tainan — wrote on Sina Weibo that she was fine, apart from minor scratches, adding that she hoped the rescue operations would continue smoothly as a cold front approaches.
The Central Weather Bureau has issued a warning for most parts of Taiwan, forecasting nighttime and morning temperatures of below 10°C until Tuesday.
Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, who shot a music video in Taiwan in December last year, also posted “God bless Taiwan” on her Sina Weibo page in Mandarin.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin and Lee I-chia
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