Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Associated Press
A 12-story building lies on its side today after it collapsed
on top of a shorter commercial building in the Taipei suburb
of Hsinchuang, after an earthquake jolted the island of Taiwan.
Fifty people were reported injured at the building and an
estimated 100 others were still trapped within.

Hawaii offers
help and aloha
to Taiwan

Island residents voice
concern for the people
affected by the quake

By Gregg K. Kakesako


The aloha spirit and the offers of help from Hawaii residents have been overwhelming following the deadly earthquake in Taiwan, a local Taiwanese official says.

Kai Wang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, said his office "was flooded by calls and offers of help, concern and sympathy."

"It was amazing and it was demonstration of the aloha spirit to the utmost," Wang said.

He said there are 40 to 50 Taiwanese American doctors who offered to participate in a medical mission to Taiwan if the need arises.

But so far, his government hasn't instructed him as to whether any type of humanitarian assistance will be needed, Wang said.

Wang estimates that there are 5,000 to 8,000 new immigrants from Taiwan residing in Hawaii.

He said his Pali Highway office will assist anyone seeking information about friends or relatives.

Terri Chen, who operates a flower shop here, said she has seven brothers and sisters in Taiwan. She was able to reach all of her relatives, who reported that they were safe.

Associated Press
A Taiwanese woman waits as rescuers dig through the
remains of her earthquake-demolished apartment where
her family is still trapped in Hsinchuang, near Taipei, today.
High-rise apartment buildings were knocked off foundations
and roads buckled into waves of asphalt when a powerful
earthquake struck Taiwan Tuesday, killing more than 1,500
people and destroying hundreds of homes.

"Everybody is fine. The only thing is that there is no electricity, and it's raining a lot," Chen said.

"The people are using candles and flashlights, and gas to cook."

Chen tried frantically much of the day yesterday to contact her relatives, and finally got through the jammed telephone lines late in the day.

"Thank God, my relatives are OK," said Chen, who visited Taiwan for three weeks in August.

Jack Huang, president of Longevity Corp., which manages the Chinese Cultural Plaza, said his wife, Julia, and mother-in-law, Nai-Chen Chen, had to take refuge in a park when the early morning earthquake struck.

"It was 1:47 in the morning and my wife and her mother were sleeping," Huang said. "They jumped out of bed, left the house and went to a park nearby."

"Everything was shaking violently," Huang said.

Electricity in Taipei was restored only today, Huang added.

The damage in Taipei seemed to be limited to older structures, he said.

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