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Taiwan thanks Japan, U.S. for earthquake donations

2016/02/08 17:48:25

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) Taiwan on Monday extended its appreciation to Japan for its generosity in the wake of the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck southern Taiwan and killed at least 38 people early Saturday.

In a statement issued Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Japan for pledging a US$1 million donation to help with relief efforts and offering other forms of aid.

Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Monday that Japan will donate US$1 million via its Red Cross to Taiwan to help with post-earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also expressed sympathy for the earthquake victims in a message to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) shortly after the quake struck that was delivered by Takashi Hamada, secretary general of the Taipei Office of the Interchange Association of Japan.

Abe said in the message that the Japanese government was willing to provide Taiwan with human and material support.

A five-man Japanese rescue team is now working with local rescue teams to search for the more than 100 people who are believed to still be trapped in a toppled apartment building in Tainan.

On Sunday, the ministry also thanked the United States for its donation of US$500,000 and concern for the victims of the disaster.

As of Monday afternoon, 38 people were confirmed dead from Saturday's earthquake, most of them residents of the collapsed 16-story apartment building, and the death toll is expected to rise because around 120 people still remain unaccounted for.

More than 500 people were injured in the quake that was centered in the Meinong District of Kaohsiung, which borders Tainan.

(By Wei Yun-ling & Bear Lee; click here for the full coverage of the earthquke aftermath.)