U.S., Japan express sympathy over Taiwan earthquake

04/19/2019 03:26 PM

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) The United States and Japan, two of Taiwan's closest allies, have offered sympathy to those impacted by an earthquake that struck Taiwan Thursday, leaving at least 17 people injured.

"AIT (American Institute in Taiwan) expresses its sympathy to anyone who experienced loss, injury, or damage in yesterday's earthquake. We wish the people of Hualien and the Taiwanese authorities strength as they continue their recovery efforts," the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan said in a Facebook post Friday.

"Taiwan has shown the United States friendship during our times of need and we hope we can support Taiwan during this difficult period," the post read.

Japan's representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata also offered condolences to Taiwan on Facebook Thursday, saying that Japan prayed for the island's early recovery from the temblor.

Numata is also expected to send a letter to Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA), expressing his condolences and hopes.

In return, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Friday that he is grateful to the international community for expressing concern for Taiwan.

"Taiwan is an island of resilience," he Tweeted.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Taiwan at 1:01 p.m. Thursday, leaving at least 17 people injured nationwide, tilting two buildings on their foundations in Taipei and causing the temporary suspension of MRT services.

The quake was centered in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, where it registered an intensity of 7, the highest level on Taiwan's intensity scale. The intensity recorded in New Taipei was 5, and in Taipei 4.

(By Elaine Hou and Chung Yu-chen)


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