Focus Taiwan App
Download

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

04/04/2024 03:37 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Premier Chen Premier (front, in red vest) and officials inspect the badly damaged buildings in National Hualien Girls' High School Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024
Premier Chen Premier (front, in red vest) and officials inspect the badly damaged buildings in National Hualien Girls' High School Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Presidential Office has expressed gratitude for the prayers and concern conveyed by the political leaders of 47 countries in the wake of a devastating earthquake that hit Taiwan on Wednesday.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Presidential Office spokesperson Olivia Lin (林聿禪) thanked the heads of state of Taiwan's diplomatic allies for their thoughts and prayers, including Paraguayan President Santiago Peña Palacios, Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr., and Eswatini Prime Minister Russell Dlamini.

Lin also thanked Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Terrance Drew, Belizean Prime Minister John Briceño, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Feleti Teo, and Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre.

She further expressed gratitude for the condolences, thoughts and prayers conveyed by top officials in non-allied states, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Dalai Lama, European Council President Charles Michel, and David Cameron, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

In a social media post, Marcos Jr. wrote, "Our hearts are with the people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath of today's (Wednesday's) powerful earthquake." He said Manila stands ready to assist and support the nearly 160,000 Filipinos in Taiwan.

Also in a social media post, Modi wrote that he was "deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to earthquakes in Taiwan today," and he offered "heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured."

"We stand in solidarity with the resilient people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath and recover from it," Modi wrote.

President Tsai Ing-wen (center), Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (left) and Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai are briefed about the impact of the Wednesday's earthquake on transportation infrastructure across in Taiwan, in Taipei Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024
President Tsai Ing-wen (center), Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (left) and Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai are briefed about the impact of the Wednesday's earthquake on transportation infrastructure across in Taiwan, in Taipei Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024

In turn, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) thanked Marcos Jr. in a social media post for his "heartfelt" message and said the rescue work was still in progress.

"The response efforts are ongoing, and we will continue to do our utmost to protect the safety of all in Taiwan, including our Filipino community, as we recover and rebuild," she said.

In another post, Tsai thanked Modi for his "kind words and support."

"Your solidarity means a great deal to the people of Taiwan as we all work toward a swift recovery," she wrote.

Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who will take office as president on May 20, also expressed his gratitude on social media to the aforementioned leaders.

Meanwhile, the office of the Dalai Lama said in a statement Wednesday that he had written to Tsai to express his sadness at the "loss of life and extensive devastation of property and infrastructure" caused by the earthquake.

"I pray for those who have lost their lives, as well as for the many who have been injured as a result of this natural disaster, the Buddhist leader said. "I offer my condolences to Your Excellency and to the families of all who have been affected by this tragedy."

In similar vein, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote, "I wish to offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims and all those affected by this terrible disaster. Thailand stands ready to provide any support relating to rescue and relief operations wherever possible."

In a pre-recorded video, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the SVG has expressed solidarity with the government and people of Taiwan, and "we have expressed our sympathy to those who have suffered as a result of the terrible earthquake."

As of 1:10 p.m. Thursday, the death toll from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake was nine, while 688 people remained trapped or unaccounted for, and more than 1,000 had reported injures, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center.

At a press hearing on Wednesday, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "We express our deepest condolences on behalf of the United States to the at least nine people dead and 900 injured and their families and everyone who was affected."

"We stand ready to support the people of Taiwan at this difficult time," Miller said. "USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) staff in the region and here in Washington will continue to closely monitor the earthquake and tsunami warnings and will remain in close contact with the American Institute in Taiwan, and are ready to provide assistance if necessary."

In Europe, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Wednesday, offering condolences to the bereaved families and pledging support for the people of Taiwan during their ordeal.

Eric Bothorel, chairman of the France-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, in a social media post expressed solidarity with and compassion for his "friends in Taiwan."

Oleksandr Merezhko, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, wrote in a social media post, "My thoughts & prayers go out to those affected by the powerful Pacific temblor. Godspeed to first responders as they perform rescue & recovery efforts. Stay strong!"

Marko Mihkelson and Rihards Kols, who chair the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian and Latvian parliaments, respectively, also extended condolences to those affected by the disaster.

The magnitude 7.2 quake struck off the east coast of Taiwan at 7:58 a.m. on Wednesday, causing extensive damage in Hualien County and other areas.

(By Emerson Lim, Yeh Su-ping, Chung Yu-chen, Chen Yun-yu, and Sean Lin)

Enditem/pc

Update

April 4

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

Related News

● Rail traffic between Yilan, Hualien reopens after quake

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

Arpil 3

● Taiwan earthquake island's strongest in 25 years: CWA

Multiple countries offer support for Taiwan after Hualien earthquake

● Nine dead, over 1,000 injured as earthquake rescue operations continue

● Massive earthquake leaves transportation in eastern Taiwan paralyzed

● Major earthquake shakes Taiwan, causing landslides, partial building collapse

A smashed scooter lies on a road near a damaged building in Hualien County, which was being torn down, on Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024
A smashed scooter lies on a road near a damaged building in Hualien County, which was being torn down, on Thursday. CNA photo April 4, 2024
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.20