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President promises all-out effort to rescue earthquake victims

2018/02/07 12:05:50

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Hualien County early Wednesday to check on rescue operations and promised an all-out rescue effort after a deadly earthquake late Tuesday that caused severe damage to several buildings.

The central government will fully support the needs of the Hualien County government in terms of disaster relief and rescue work, Tsai said.

Tsai praised the army and administrative units for conducting timely and efficient rescue efforts after she was briefed on their efforts at the county's emergency operations center at 7:40 a.m.

The president urged the search and rescue teams to keep up their spirits, saying that they "should never give up on finding survivors."

All government agencies should make the utmost effort to help victims find a place to relocate to and to repair damage caused to utilities and infrastructure in the shortest possible time, Tsai said.

After the briefing, Tsai visited Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital to meet victims of the earthquake and then saw the Yun Men Tsui Ti residential building (翠堤大樓) that was partially collapsed in the earthquake, the Presidential Office said.

After the earthquake struck Hualien at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, Tsai called an emergency meeting at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning to instruct Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) to go all out to help the victims, according to the Presidential Office.

Lai is to travel to Hualien to check on relief and rescue operations there at noon.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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