Thu, Apr 04, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung to pay compensation to Siaolin survivors

By Wang Jung-hsiang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, center, yesterday announces the Kaohsiung City Government’s acceptance of a Taiwan High Court ruling on compensation for victims of a landslide in Siaolin Village.

Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times

The Kaohsiung City Government is to budget an additional NT$32 million (US$1.04 million) for compensation of 15 Siaolin Village (小林) survivors and would not appeal a Taiwan High Court ruling, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said yesterday.

The city government accepts the ruling issued on Wednesday last week and has decided not to appeal, as Siaolin villagers, as residents of Kaohsiung, should be taken care of by the city and should be compensated properly in case of injustice, Han told a news conference.

Typhoon Morakot in 2009 left 381 people dead and 16 missing in Siaolin, part of Jiasian Township (甲仙) in then-Kaohsiung County.

A section of the village was washed away by mudslides and flooding caused by a heavy downpour and the damming of the Nanzihsian River (楠梓仙溪) by landslides.

A total of 138 survivors and their relatives filed for national compensation.

The Supreme Court in 2017 upheld an earlier ruling against 123 of the plaintiffs and ordered a retrial at lower appellate courts for the 15 who lived in potential mudslide areas.

The Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court last week ruled that the city should compensate those survivors between NT$1.5 million and NT$3 million each.

Siaolin Self-help Association head Tsai Sung-yu (蔡松諭) burst into tears when the ruling was announced, while the association’s lawyer said that the ruling was “belated justice.”

At yesterday’s news conference, Han and city government department heads also unveiled the results of a public satisfaction poll after 100 days in office.

The survey found that 61.3 percent of residents were satisfied with Han and 58.9 percent were happy with his team.

More than 76 percent of respondents said that they were “proud” of being Kaohsiung residents.

Additional reporting by CNA

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