Following the casualties suffered in Tainan during last Saturday’s earthquake, the Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency yesterday provided the Executive Yuan with the latest data on potentially dangerous buildings throughout the city.
The municipality was the hardest hit by the magnitude 6.4 earthquake, of which the epicenter was in Kaohsiung’s Meinong Township (美濃). One hundred and fourteen bodies have been found in a collapsed Tainan building complex.
The municipality has mobilized a team of engineers and architects to survey the city and tag potentially dangerous buildings, marking at least 340 buildings at risk in the event of another earthquake.
Of these 340, only 319 have been completely surveyed, with 48 found to be highly threatened buildings and 45 threatened buildings.
The Kaohsiung City Government also designated two engineers to determine its threat level in the event of an earthquake, with only 14 at-risk buildings reported.
All 14 have been surveyed, with two considered highly threatened and one threatened in the event of an earthquake, the city government said.
The agency said its focus would be monitoring of the assessment efforts for the Sincheng community in Tainan’s Yujing District (玉井), adding that it planned to gather all special municipality governments in a meeting on Tuesday to address maintenance and repairs of old residences that would slow or avert soil liquefaction.
Soil liquefaction is a phenomenon in which saturated or partially saturated soil behaves like liquid due to stress, usually earthquakes.
Additionally, the Tainan City Government has petitioned the central government to set up a special fund, like that of the 921 Earthquake in 1999 or Typhoon Morakot in 2009, to aid victims.
The agency estimates 900 families suffered losses in the earthquake and said it would need NT$200 million (US$6 million) to aid those affected over the next two years.
Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) said the government was negotiating with the Relief Foundation to partially provide the funds, with the government’s Residence Fund (住宅基金) covering the rest.
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