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President-elect, political parties donate to quake relief

2016/02/06 13:36:12

(Photo courtesy of the DPP)

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) President-elect and Chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), on Saturday donated NT$1 million (US$29,851) to the relief efforts following a strong earthquake in southern Taiwan earlier in the day.

The DPP and the incumbent ruling Kuomintang (KMT) also pledged donations to help the victims of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, which killed at least five people.

The quake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57 a.m. Saturday, toppling several structures in Tainan, including a 16-story residential building.

As of 1:30 p.m. six deaths had been confirmed, about 30 people were said to be trapped in a collapsed building, and over 370 were reported injured.

The Cabinet has set up an emergency disaster relief center and is working with local governments to rescue and rehabilitate the earthquake victims.

The legislative caucus of the DPP, the majority party in the Legislative Yuan since the Jan. 16 elections, has pledged to donate NT$1 million and has conveyed its condolences to the victims and families affected by the quake.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who made the donation on behalf of the caucus, said the party will do its best to monitor the Cabinet's rescue efforts, although it is the Lunar New Year holiday.

He suggested that Cabinet allocate funds from its supplementary reserves to assist victims in Tainan, the hardest hit area.

The party is hoping that its gesture will inspire others to donate to the effort, according to DPP spokesman Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍).

The DPP has opened an account at the Tainan branch of Bank of Taiwan for earthquake relief donations, he said.

The KMT's caucus, meanwhile, has pledged one-day's salary in donations to the rescue and relief efforts.

It urged the public to pray for the victims of the earthquake, saying this is a time for people in Taiwan to show their love and to help those affected by the disaster.

The KMT also urged the public to donate blood to help the injured as blood banks in southern Taiwan are in short supply.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Frances Huang; click here for the full coverage of the earthquke aftermath.)