Tens of thousands of traumatized residents huddled in makeshift emergency shelters or out in the open last night after a string of earthquakes in northern Japan killed at least 21 people and reportedly injured 1,800 others. Eight people were believed missing. \nA 6.8-magnitude quake centered in Ojiya, about 260km northwest of Tokyo, rocked the area Saturday evening, knocking a bullet train from its rails, ripping through roadways and rattling buildings as far away as the Japanese capital. Several strong quakes followed through the night, and aftershocks continued to jolt the area through yesterday evening. \nThe disaster was the deadliest quake in Japan since a massive tremor struck the western city of Kobe in January 1995 and killed more than 6,000 people. \nTens of thousands of rural residents -- many of them elderly -- were evacuated from flattened homes to emergency shelters. Officials handed out blankets to guard against chilly nights and flew in bottled water since most utility services were severed. \nJapan's military used helicopters to airlift stranded villagers from a riverside hamlet, Shiotani, that was cut off when the bridge connecting it to Ojiya was toppled. Several other villages were isolated, including Yamagoshi, a mountain village of 600, where a landslide swept away the only road. \nThe injured overwhelmed small local hospitals, where patients were being treated in the hallways. \nTemperatures were expected to drop to 13?C in the evening, and some 60 people crowded into the lobby of the Nagaoka City Hall to take advantage of the heating, laying out thin foldable mattresses or lawn chairs from home. \n"I don't have any water, electricity or gas in my apartment, so I have no choice but to be here," said Naomi Matsuki, from Nagaoka. \nSewage and water mains burst, gas and telephone services were down. Homes in 36 cities, towns and villages in Niigata prefecture had no water. Close to 124,000 homes were without power yesterday evening, Tohoku Electric said on its Web site.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to