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Taiwan to send rescue squad, aid to Indonesia after catastrophic earthquake

Taiwan to send rescue squad of 36, relief supplies ready to ship

Wreckage after earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Wreckage after earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is preparing to send a rescue team and aid to Indonesia following the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck Palau, Central Sulawesi on Sept. 28, reported CNA yesterday.

The rescue team will comprise 36 specialists and six sniffer dogs, from the New Taipei City Fire Department.

At current count, 1,234 people were killed by the earthquake and consequent tsunami, with over 1,000 homes destroyed, as well as key infrastructure. The earthquake is Indonesia’s most deadly since 2006, and the most deadly globally this year.

The New Taipei City Fire Department said they will bring special equipment that the Indonesia authorities have requested, and they were waiting for approval from the national government to send the team to Indonesia, according to CNA.

Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) met with Indonesia’s representative to Taiwan, Didi Sumedi, on Oct. 2 and expressed Taiwan’s wiliness to provide various humanitarian assistance as soon as possible.

Wu said that Taiwan has collected emergency materials including blankets, halal-certified food, clean water, and medical supplies, and this shipment is ready to go. Wu added that the Taiwan government held an emergency coordination meeting and initiated a disaster coordination mechanism, to facilitate swift and effective responses, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Taiwanese Buddhist humanitarian organization, Tzu Chi Foundation (慈濟基金會) has launched a disaster response, and also begun preparing supplies to be sent to Indonesia. Tzu Chi Foundation said that 10,000 blankets will be urgently sent, and a medical team has been dispatched to assess the disaster zone.

On the day after the earthquake, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her sadness for the disaster and Taiwan’s wiliness to help.

All 12 Taiwanese staying in the Palu region of Central Sulawesi were reported to be safe and have left the danger zone.