Taiwan quake: Young couple dishes out free food to rescue workers

PHOTO: Facebook/RE.Rainbow8

As search and rescue workers race against time to locate survivors of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked Hualien on Tuesday (Feb 6), many others have come forward to help in whichever ways they can.

After learning of the quake, a young couple from the neighbouring Yilan county drove their food truck to the worst-hit Marshal Hotel.

During this fast-diminishing 72-hour "golden rescue period", they have been dishing out free fried noodles, soup, and drinks to exhausted rescue workers.

Others are offering hot dishes such as ramen, oden, and beefsteak round the clock at the disaster sites.

《台灣人的心是最美的》 今天由 秘書長 達哥 親自坐鎮災區指揮三部救難胖卡 調度供餐事宜~ 大家辛苦了!

Posted by 胖卡協會 台灣行動車創業發展協會 on Wednesday, February 7, 2018

SETN reported that the couple has been serving food for the past 18 hours and said that they will continue to do so until rescue operations end.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese celebrities such as A-Mei, Jam Hsiao, Lin Chiling, and Ariel Lin among others have donated NT11 million (S$500,000) in total to help those affected by the quake.

The kind acts have not only warmed the bodies of the rescue workers in the chilly weather but also the hearts of netizens who commended these good samaritans. 

6.4-magnitude quake strikes Hualien, Taiwan

  • A 6.4-magnitude quake on the east coast of Taiwan has left two dead and more than 200 injured after buildings crumbled and trapped people inside.
  • A hotel and a residential block were the worst hit by the quake in the port city of Hualien.
  • Five more buildings including a hospital had also been damaged.
  • Televison footage showed roads strewn with rubble, cracks along highways and damaged buildings tilted at angles.
  • “It’s the biggest quake I’ve experienced in Hualien in more than 10 years,” resident Blue Hsu told AFP, who said his home shook violently.
  • Hualien is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist hubs as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and is near to popular Taroko Gorge.
  • Photos on Apple Daily showed a man calling for help from the window of an apartment block and a ceiling collapse at a local hospital.
  • Officials from Hualien fire department said 149 people had been rescued from damaged buildings.
  • Amy Chen, a 64-year-old flower arrangement teacher who was at home with her husband when the quake hit, told the semi-official Central News Agency: "I have never experienced an earthquake as large as this one. I am terrified."
  • The worst-hit Marshal Hotel partly crumpled into the ground.
  • Describing the scene at the Marshal Hotel, Hsu said the bottom storeys had been crushed.
  • “The lower floors sunk into the ground and I saw panicked tourists being rescued from the hotel. There is one bulldozer and about 50 rescuers on the scene,” he said.
  • Authorities said some people remained trapped but were unable to give an overall figure.
  • Rescuers from around the island were preparing to help, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen said on her Facebook page, promising rapid disaster relief.
  • There had been at least 15 aftershocks following the quake, Taiwan’s weather bureau said.
  • The quake hit at 11.50pm around 21km north-east of Hualien, according to the United States Geological Survey.
  • It follows almost 100 smaller tremors to have hit the area in the last three days.
  • The quake comes exactly two years since a quake of the same magnitude struck the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan, killing more than 100 people.
  • Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
  • The island’s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6 magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.

minlee@sph.com.sg

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