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Taiwan President, VP thank PM Modi for his message of solidarity following powerful earthquake


Taiwan, Taiwan earthquake, Tsai Ing-wen, PM Modi
Image Source : AP/PTI Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Taipei: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the latter expressed solidarity with the people of the island country after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake that has killed nine people so far. Tsai thanked PM Modi for his support at a “challenging time” and that it means a “great deal” to the people of Taiwan.

“We are deeply grateful for your kind words and support,@narendramodi, at this challenging time. Your solidarity means a great deal to the people of Taiwan as we all work toward a swift recovery,” President Tsai said on social media platform X, following the Indian Prime Minister’s message of solidarity. 

Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te also thanked Modi saying the support and solidarity of the Indian prime minister are a source of strength to the people of Taiwan during these trying times. This came after Taiwan was struck on Wednesday by its most powerful earthquake in 25 years that killed at least nine people and injured over 900.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Modi @narendramodi, for your heartwarming message. Your support & solidarity are a source of strength to the people of Taiwan during these trying times,” Lai said. The India Taipei Association also extended its condolences to the victims of the quake.

“India Taipei Association would like to extend our deepest condolences for the victims and heartfelt sympathies for communities affected by the earthquake which struck Taiwan this morning. We sincerely pray for the speedy recovery of those injured and stand ready with the people of Taiwan during these difficult times,” it said on X.

In a post on X, PM Modi said, “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to earthquakes in Taiwan today. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured. We stand in solidarity with the resilient people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath and recover from it.”

Though India and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic ties, the bilateral trade relations have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years. In 1995, New Delhi set up the India-Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei to promote interactions between the two sides and to facilitate business, tourism and cultural exchanges.

Earthquake in Taiwan

A total of nine people have been killed so far, according to Taiwan’s fire agency, as the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the semi-autonomous island nation just before 8 am (local time). Another 934 people were injured. Meanwhile, 50 hotel workers were missing en route to a national park, authorities said, as rescuers used ladders to bring others to safety.

The quake and aftershocks also caused 24 landslides and damage to 35 roads, bridges and tunnels. Traffic along the East Coast was at a virtual standstill after the earthquake, with landslides and falling debris hitting tunnels and highways. As many as 70 coal miners remain trapped in two coal mines in Hualien County after the earthquake, according to the National Fire Agency (NFA). At least 64 people were trapped in one coal mine, and six people were stuck in a different mine, the agency said.

Train services were suspended across Taiwan, with some tracks twisted by the stress of the quake, along with the subway service in Taipei, where sections of a newly constructed elevated line split apart but did not collapse. However, the initial panic after the earthquake quickly faded on the island, which prepares for such events with drills at schools and notices issued via public media and mobile phones.

Taiwan is regularly jolted by quakes and its population is among the best prepared for them, but authorities said they had expected a relatively mild earthquake and accordingly did not send out alerts. The eventual temblor was strong enough to scare even people who are used to such shaking. 

Wednesday’s quake was the biggest since one of magnitude 7.6 in 1999 that killed about 2,400 people and damaged or destroyed 50,000 buildings. Taiwan and its surrounding waters have registered about 2,000 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 or greater since 1980, and more than 100 earthquakes with a magnitude above 5.5, according to the US Geological Survey.

(with inputs from agencies)

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