Quake responders urged to make most of time in all-out rescue effort

  • Date: 2018-02-08
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te said today that with some victims of Tuesday’s quake in Hualien County still trapped under collapsed buildings, saving lives is the top priority for rescue workers at present, and instructed responsible units to make the most of this precious time immediately following the disaster to doggedly pursue all possibilities. The premier’s remarks came at today’s meeting of the Cabinet following a report on disaster response by the Ministry of the Interior.

Having already ordered the creation of a response task force to handle post-quake disaster relief and reconstruction, Premier Lai indicated that the Executive Yuan will allocate NT$300 million (US$10.2 million) in special funding to the Hualien County Government to finance condolence payments and the needs of disaster victims.

Relief measures should be extended generously, broadly and quickly, said the premier, and condolence payments disbursed through the most effective channels available. As for those residents who now require rental housing, relocation or shelter due to damage to homes caused by the earthquake, the responsible ministries and agencies were directed to provide subsidies as called for by law, and move quickly to make available appropriate shelter. Premier Lai instructed all central ministries and agencies to spare no effort in helping the local government handle the disaster.

In the face of such national tragedies, the Executive Yuan will devote every effort to assisting the Hualien County Government and its people during this difficult time, from rescue and relief work through to reconstruction. The premier expressed admiration and thanks to the many police, firefighters, military units, citizen groups and civilian volunteers from throughout Taiwan who were the first to respond to the disaster and provide much-needed assistance.