Southern Taiwan Earthquake Update: 116 Dead And Government Establishing Further Disaster Prevention Methods

Southern Taiwan Earthquake Update: 116 Dead And Government Establishing Further Disaster Prevention Methods
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像
What you need to know

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck southern Taiwan has lead to a total of 116 deaths. The Taiwanese government is planning a “Old Building Health Check” program and announcing the potential areas for soil liquefaction within a month for future disaster prevention.

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Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang

On February 6, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan, leading to a total of 116 deaths, of which 114 were found in the rubble of the Weiguan Jinlong residential building. However, 289 people were rescued from the collapsed building, and in mourning of the deceased, government agencies and schools lowered their national flags to half-mast on February 15.

►Related News:
Earthquake Strikes Southern Taiwan Leaving Dozens Trapped
Taiwan Earthquake Collapses Residential Buildings and Damages Historic Relics

The Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior has begun planning a “Old Building Health Check” program (「老屋健檢」計畫) since 2015. On February 12, the agency decided to increase the subsidy quota from 500 to 2,000 buildings. Buildings in the six districts of southern Taiwan have application priorities. The government will provide each building NT$8,000 (approximately US$240), and applications are open as soon as March. The “Old Building Health Check” program includes eight items, such as structural safety, fire safety and so on. Currently, structural safety holds highest priority in the program.

In addition, there are many locations showing signs of soil liquefaction in Tainan City, including Annan District, West Central District, Xinshi District and North District. According to the Water Resource Bureau of the Tainan City Government, some of the buildings have slanted and sunk into the earth 30 cms to one meter. However, based on the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act, the government is only obligated to provide aid for affected households whose tilt rate of the home achieves one thirtieth or more.

On February 14, Chang Shan-cheng, the premier of the Executive Yuan, said the Central Geological Survey of the Ministry of Economy Affairs will announce potential soil liquefaction areas within a month, and the Ministry of the Interior will propose relevant complementary measures and subsidy methods.

Chang said, soil liquefaction occurred in a segment of the National Freeway No. 1 before, and the problem was solved by engineering techniques. Therefore, what’s more crucial is that citizens know the risks in advance and apply prevention measures.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
CNA
Flags flying at half-mast to mourn earthquake victims (Focus Taiwan)
Emergency Management Information Cloud
China Times
China Times
TVBS
Press Release of the Executive Yuan
Categories and Standards of Assistance for Windstorm, Earthquake, Fire and Explosion Disasters (The Executive Yuan)