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Over NT$20 billion to be allocated to Hualien earthquake relief

04/19/2024 03:48 PM
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Wall tiles fall at Hualien Girls' Senior High School in the April 3 earthquake. CNA file photo
Wall tiles fall at Hualien Girls' Senior High School in the April 3 earthquake. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) The Cabinet will allocate more than NT$20 billion (US$614.9 million) to support relief efforts in Hualien County following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on April 3 that was centered just off the county's coast.

The estimate was confirmed Thursday at a meeting led by Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and attended by officials from the Public Construction Commission, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and others, the Cabinet said in a statement.

According to the statement, 125 lodging operators have agreed to work with the interior and transportation ministries to provide housing to those affected by the earthquake on a short-term rental basis.

Both disaster victims and affected businesses will receive monthly rental subsidies from the government, Cheng said, with the amount ranging from NT$8,000 per month for a household of three individuals to a maximum of NT$18,000 per month for a household of eight.

In addition, any household that wants to buy a new house or rebuild one will have their interest payments subsidized on loans of up to NT$3.5 million, and those that want to make repairs will have the interest subsidized on loans of up to NT$1.5 million, the statement said.

Those subsidies will come from the Central Public Housing Fund.

Cheng also asked the Taiwan Foundation for Disaster Relief, a foundation under the health ministry, to increase grants for family members of people who died or went missing in the earthquake from NT$800,000 to NT$1 million.

Also at Friday's meeting, the Hualien County government suggested that the central government roll out a Hualien-specific agricultural voucher or digital wallet program to boost spending there, but details were still being discussed, the statement said.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Chao Yen-hsiang)


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