News and Views on Tibet

7.2 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan, Dalai Lama offers condolence

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Taiwan's president-elect and current vice president, Lai Ching-te, third from right, and other officials survey the damage in Hualien after a major earthquake hit eastern Taiwan (Photo/Aljazeera)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, April 5: At least nine individuals have been confirmed dead and hundreds injured following a magnitude 7.2 tremor off the eastern coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning. On Thursday, the National Fire Agency reported, “1,038 people had been injured, while 52 were missing and uncontactable. The death toll remained at nine, all of whom were found in Hualien.”

Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama conveyed his condolences in a letter to Ms Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan, “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. I offer my condolences to Your Excellency and to the families of all who have been affected by this tragedy. I commend your Government and its concerned agencies for their swift response as they seek to rescue the injured and provide relief to those who need help.”

Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the head of the Central Tibetan Administration, expressed solidarity, saying, “Our hearts stand in solidarity with President Tsai Ing-wen & Taiwan. On behalf of CTA & Tibetan people, our heartfelt prayers for those who’ve lost loved ones & all affected by the tragedy. Wishing strength, courage & perseverance for the path to recovery.”

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office proposed disaster relief to the island in the quake’s aftermath, but Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council stated that they did not require assistance. “We noticed that the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office had expressed concern about the earthquake in  Hualien this morning. We greatly appreciate its concern, but there is no need for the mainland side to assist us in disaster relief,” it said.

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