Government to offer 'consolation money' to earthquake victims - Focus Taiwan

Government to offer 'consolation money' to earthquake victims

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said Wednesday that the central government will pay "consolation money" of NT$800,000 (US$23,369) to the families of those who lost their lives and NT$250,000 to each person severely injured in the magnitude 6 earthquake that hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday.

According to numbers provided at a disaster response meeting held at about 11 a.m., there were four confirmed fatalities and 27 individuals were severely injured.

The latest tally of casualties is four dead, 243 injured and 82 unaccounted for, though the reports do not specify the severity of injuries so how many people will qualify for "consolation money" remains unknown.

Lai said the government will also provide financial aid to victims of the earthquake to help them relocate or find somewhere else to live.

The Cabinet will allocate NT$300 million to Hualien County government to address the most pressing needs of people impacted by the earthquake.

Lai said that finding and saving people who are trapped remains the top priority.

Government personnel have also been dispatched to check on roads and bridges to ensure they were not damaged by the temblor and pose no public safety risk.

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