Sept. 21 was the 23rd anniversary of the 921 earthquake as well as National Disaster Prevention Day. Earthquake refuge, accommodation, and rescue drills took place in Hualien. Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei said she hopes the central government can assist the county in rebuilding after it suffered extensive damage during the earthquake on Sept. 18.
Teachers carry out their respective duties as soon as they feel the earthquake. Some establish refuge zones on open land while others direct students to these zones. This earthquake drill took place at National Hualien Special School on Sept. 21, which is National Disaster Prevention Day. A huge earthquake had struck the Hualien-Taitung region just several days earlier, so this drill was particularly significant.
Tsai Ing-wen, President: “Go, go, go! The possibility of compound disasters occurring is becoming higher and higher, especially because of extreme weather. We need to increase Taiwan's overall disaster resilience and we must create disaster prevention campuses.”
President Tsai Ing-wen inspected an earthquake accommodation drill at Hualien County Stadium, including the areas where victims will be accommodated and the sanitary facilities. She also led some drills.
At another drill, the military and National Airborne Service Corps ferried personnel and supplies. The five large telecoms and the military also showed off their communication capabilities during disasters. The National Fire Agency and numerous city and county governments sent search and rescue teams to participate in the drill. They practiced helping disaster victims and administering first aid. The issue of the central government helping Hualien and Taitung to rebuild after the devastating Sept. 18 earthquake was also talked about.
Hsu Chen-wei, Magistrate, Hualien County: “We hope the central government will attach importance to the damage that Hualien suffered and provide comprehensive assistance for Hualien's roads, bridges, buildings, and private property.”
Tsai Ing-wen, President: “The magistrate just provided information on the rebuilding and recovery that are needed. The central government will participate and work together with our local government.”
Civic groups including Tzu Chi Foundation also participated in the activity. They practiced accommodating and feeding disaster victims. Tsai's Hualien itinerary also included calling on Dharma Master Cheng Yen to thank Tzu Chi Foundation for its disaster relief work. The foundation recently revealed that the central government had put up obstacles while it was trying to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the Taiwanese people. Tsai said convention was followed and there was communication between the two sides, but she won't divulge what they talked about.