A powerful magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck southern Taiwan yesterday morning damaged at least 23 historical buildings in Tainan, with the bell tower next to Fengshen Temple (風神廟) and the Reception Archway (接官亭) collapsing, city government officials said.
The wooden pillar on the second floor of the Yanshui Octangle Building (鹽水八角樓) is suspected to have shifted and some bricks fell off the outer wall. Cracks were discovered at the Tainan Grand Matsu Temple (台南大天后宮), while the main gate shifted and some fragmented ceramic decorations fell off.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau said that the collapse of the Fengshen Temple bell tower and the Reception Archway is the most serious damage it has uncovered. However, the bureau added that both the bell tower and the drum tower had previously been rebuilt, as the bell tower was relocated due to road construction, and the drum tower is a complete replica of the original.
The Tainan Municipal Cultural Heritage Administration said that as the nearby drum tower was also damaged, it has decided to protect it by first stabilizing the area and erecting fences around it for the safety of passers-by.
Debris from the bell tower has been numbered, photographed and placed in front of the nearby Siluo Temple (西羅殿) for future reconstruction.
The bureau said that it has asked engineers to inspect damaged historical buildings in the city, including the Confucius Temple, which suffered minor damage.
In addition, major cultural and historical attractions, including the Chimei Museum (奇美博物館), Fort Provincia (赤崁樓, also known as Chikan Tower), Eternal Golden Castle (億載金城), Fort Zeelandia (安平古堡, also known as Anping Fort) and Anping Tree House (安平樹屋) remained intact, the bureau said.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Monday said he would not attend the official Double Ten National Day celebrations for the first time this year, as its English name, “Taiwan National Day,” implies “Taiwan independence.” Writing on Facebook, Ma said he has attended every National Day celebration since entering public service 40 years ago, but “with an exceedingly heavy heart,” has decided to reject this year’s invitation. For the past three years, the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used “Taiwan National Day” for the event’s official English-language title, leaving the “Republic of China” nowhere to be found, he said. The move
RUNWAY UPGRADES: Airports and ports mainly scattered around southwestern Japan are being given major overhauls, primarily serving as civilian-use facilities Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun. Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year. According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including