Taiwan pledges to support Indonesia after Lombok earthquake

Taiwan to support Indonesia in most appropriate way, after earthquake in Lombok kills 98, injures 236

Andrew Lee.

Andrew Lee. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Andrew Lee (李憲章) said today that Taiwan will soon provide assistance and support to Indonesia, after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the tourist island Lombok on August 5, reported CNA.

Lee said that Taiwan is in active discussions with the Indonesian government about what the best form of Taiwanese assistance looks like, but pledged to support Indonesia.

The August 5 earthquake which killed 98 and injured 236 people was the second one to hit Lombok within a week, with a magnitude 6.4 earthquake killing 20 people on July 29. Officials said that the two earthquakes had damaged or destroyed at least 80 percent of structures in North Lombok Regency, with Indonesian government spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho describing the damage as "massive."

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Tweeted on August 5 that "Taiwan stands ready to help our Indonesian friends at this difficult time." Taiwan followed up with an offer of assistance to the Indonesian government on August 6.

The Indonesian President's special envoy to Taiwan, Dato' Sri Tahir, welcomed Taiwan's assistance, suggesting that Taiwan could provide around US$250,000 (NT$7.65 million) to build 100 houses.

Lee said that the government is monitoring the situation in Indonesia, and is in concert with civil society and the Indonesian government to provide immediate relief based on local needs. He expects the quantity of money donated to be made public soon.

Lee also said that there are currently 15 Taiwanese tourists on Lombok Island, all of which are confirmed to be safe. A group of 12 will return to Taiwan today and tomorrow, while the remaining three are uncommitted about returning to Taiwan.