After Taiwan’s Powerful Earthquake, Christian Aid Groups Work to Rebuild Lives - Living Strong Television Network
After Taiwan’s Powerful Earthquake, Christian Aid Groups Work to Rebuild Lives

On an island where Buddhist disaster relief is prominent, Christians work with churches to care for children and families.

When a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast of Taiwan Wednesday morning, Carissa Wang, branding communication director of World Vision Taiwan, was on the Taipei subway on her way to work. She felt the carriage sway more than usual, and then it stopped at the next station as an announcement alerted passengers that service had ended due to an earthquake.

Wang and her World Vision colleagues immediately began putting disaster relief protocols into action, assembling their emergency team and reaching out to local government officials to coordinate relief at evacuation centers. World Vision social workers also began to contact the 3,000 sponsored children and their families in the epicenter of Hualien to make sure they were safe and find out if they needed help.

Wednesday’s quake was the worst to hit Taiwan in 25 years, damaging buildings and causing landslides. Images from Hualien, a city on the country’s east coast, showed a red brick building leaning at a 45-degree angle after its first floor collapsed. Large rocks tumbled down the side of mountains and blocked roads into the tourist destination of Taroko Gorge, trapping people at a hotel.

Yet Hualien sustained surprisingly little damage for an earthquake of such magnitude. As of Monday, 13 people had died, and only one of them was killed due to building damage. Most of the others were hit by falling rocks. Ten people are still missing and more than 1,000 were injured.

The low loss of life is attributed to Taiwan’s earthquake preparedness, as the government improved and reinforced building codes after a deadly earthquake in 1999 killed 2,400 people. Public education on earthquakes is widespread, and disaster relief groups are well-trained and respond quickly. …

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