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Multiple countries offer support for Taiwan after Hualien earthquake

04/03/2024 04:41 PM
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A Hualien building's tiles fall off due to the earthquake that hit Wednesday. CNA photo April 3, 2024
A Hualien building's tiles fall off due to the earthquake that hit Wednesday. CNA photo April 3, 2024

Taipei, April 3 (CNA) World leaders and officials from several governments have expressed solidarity and offered assistance to Taiwan after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the country's eastern coast on Wednesday morning.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida extended his "sincere condolences" to victims of the quake, and expressed the hope that "all our friends in Taiwan are safe."

Kishida highlighted the help Japan had received from "our important friend" Taiwan in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the major quake that struck the Noto Peninsula earlier this year.

"Now, it's our island neighbor who is facing difficult circumstances, and Japan is willing to provide Taiwan with any necessary assistance," Kishida said.

Laura Rosenberger, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), opened a meeting in Taipei with Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) Wednesday by saying she hoped "everyone will be okay" and that "we will hear good news" as Taiwan's emergency services continue to help people and assess the damage in Hualien and elsewhere.

"As a close friend of Taiwan, our thoughts are always with the Taiwan people in times like this," Rosenberger said.

AIT Chair Laura Rosenberger (left) and Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu shake hands during her visit to Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo April 3, 2024
AIT Chair Laura Rosenberger (left) and Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu shake hands during her visit to Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo April 3, 2024

Meanwhile, China's Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement expressing its "sincere condolences" to "Taiwan compatriots" following the earthquake.

The office added that it will continue to closely follow developments in Taiwan and is willing to provide any necessary assistance.

British Foreign Minister David Cameron wrote on X that his thoughts “are with the people of Taiwan, especially those who have lost loved ones.”

“The UK stands ready to support in any way we can,” he added.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis expressed his “sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to all the Taiwanese affected by the earthquake.”

“We wish for the swift recovery of the injured and stand ready to offer assistance in the disaster response efforts,” Landsbergis said, in a post on the ministry’s official X account.

Several of Taiwan's diplomatic allies also weighed in with expressions of their concern and support in the hours after the quake.

In a post on X, Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo said he wanted to "express our closeness" to the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) following the quake, and offered condolences to each affected family and the government.

"All our solidarity and support to the government and people of the sister Republic of China (Taiwan) in this difficult moment. Today more than ever we ratify our support," Paraguayan President Santiago Pena posted.

Elsewhere around the world, David Eby, premier of the Canadian province of British Columbia, said in a social media post that his thoughts were with "the people of Taiwan and everyone who has friends and family there."

"I know all British Columbians stand with the Taiwanese community during this difficult time," he added.

(By Lee Ya-wen, Cheng Ai-fen, Fan Chung-hsiang and Matthew Mazzetta)

Enditem/ASG

Update

April 4

● 38 still missing as Hualien earthquake death toll rises to 10

● President, VP thank world leaders for thoughts and prayers after deadly quake

● Rail traffic between Yilan, Hualien reopens after quake

● More than 70% of TSMC equipment back online after major quake in Taiwan

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