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Maternity staff recall rushing to protect babies during powerful quake

04/04/2024 09:04 PM
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Head nurse Elaine. CNA photo April 4, 2024
Head nurse Elaine. CNA photo April 4, 2024

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) When a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning, four members of staff in a Taipei post-partum care center hurried to protect and stabilize the cribs of at least 12 babies.

CCTV footage of their actions quickly went viral, and two of these unsung heroes from the Shilin branch of the Ma Chérie Postpartum Care Center in Taipei recalled the experience with CNA on Thursday.

Elaine, a head nurse at the center, said their first instinct was to make sure all the babies were safe when the earthquake struck. "Anyone working in health care can relate to this," she said.

In the CCTV footage, Elaine can be seen rushing to grab a hold of several cribs before successfully straining to keep the infants out of harm's way.

Life can be tough, "but sometimes a small gesture of goodwill can make all the difference," Elaine added.

Regarding her words for the babies she protected, Elaine said that she hopes that when these little boys and girls grow up, they can "spread this love to others."

Post-partum care center nurse Aly. CNA photo April 4, 2024
Post-partum care center nurse Aly. CNA photo April 4, 2024

Elaine's colleague Aly said that she would like to thank everyone for their gratitude and concern after this incident.

In terms of their actions at that moment, she said that there was no time to be scared when the earthquake struck. "Even our night shift colleagues who were getting changed rushed in to help," she added.

Aly stated that her colleagues and the babies are all fine, and they hope that everyone affected by this earthquake in Taiwan is also safe and sound.

Angel Chen (陳盈琴), a supervisor at the care center, told CNA in an interview that the center has set up a standard operating procedure in response to earthquakes, which included a guideline to first gather all the babies.

The members of staff are also required to stabilize the cribs and ensure that the babies are away from glasses objects and items that may fall, Chen said.

Every six months, the care center conducts disaster drills, including the simulations of situations such as earthquakes, fires, and power outages, Chen added.

This strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in nearly 25 years has resulted in 10 deaths, 1,067 injuries, and 660 people trapped as of 4:25 p.m. Thursday, according to data from the central government.

(By Sunny Lai)

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