Taiwan approves $878 million for quake relief

By AFP   May 2, 2024 | 04:28 pm PT
Taiwan approves $878 million for quake relief
This photo taken by Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows a damaged building in Hualien, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east. Photo handout via AFP
Taiwan's government on Thursday approved around $878 million for earthquake relief after a massive quake last month killed at least 17 people and damaged buildings and infrastructure.

The magnitude 7.4 quake that hit the island on April 3 also injured more than 1,100 people, but strict building codes and widespread disaster readiness is credited with averting an even bigger catastrophe.

The quake caused massive landslides that blocked tunnels and damaged roads and buildings, dealing a blow to tourism and business in eastern Hualien city, near the epicentre.

The cabinet announced Thursday it will make "utmost efforts" to rebuild homes and revitalize business, with an NT$28.55 billion ($878 million) "0403 Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Plan."

Under the project, NT$18.44 billion will be earmarked for emergency repair and reconstruction of public facilities, while NT$5.84 billion is for resettlement and reconstruction of private homes damaged by the quake.

Another NT$4.08 billion will finance industrial revitalization, while NT$190 million will go to "other insurance subsidies and employment assistance programs", the cabinet said.

"In the future, the central and local governments will work together... to ensure that the people receive the fastest, most adequate, and most timely help," the cabinet said in a statement.

The quake came weeks before Taiwan's incoming president Lai Ching-te takes office on May 20 after winning the January presidential elections.

It was the most serious quake in Taiwan since one of magnitude 7.6 in 1999.

Some 2,400 people died in that quake, making it the deadliest natural disaster in the island's history.

go to top