Taiwan military readies aircraft to respond to Indonesia earthquake

Taiwan Air Force prepares 4 C-130 Hercules for immediate deployment

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File Photo: Taiwan Air Force C-130 Hercules

File Photo: Taiwan Air Force C-130 Hercules (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In response to the catastrophic tsunami which struck Indonesia on Saturday, the Taiwan Air Force has mobilized and put in place a humanitarian relief strategy, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement yesterday.

The Air Force has opened a distribution station at its Hsinchu base and prepared four C-130 Hercules transport airplanes to conduct humanitarian relief.

A tsunami hit Indonesia’s Sunda Strait on the evening of Dec. 22, causing at least 222 deaths and 843 injuries on the islands of Java and Sumatra. The tsunami was caused by an eruption on Anak Krakatau, taking many residents by surprise because of the absence of a “warning” earthquake.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed concern and said her thoughts are with those affected. Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said yesterday that Taiwan is prepared to help in any way possible.

On Dec. 23, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), has coordinated with the Ministry of Defense to ensure that the government can rapidly deploy aid, if requested by the Indonesian government.

The MND said that the armed forces are prepared to immediately help upon instruction, adding that their efforts are made to uphold the spirit of humanitarian relief and in demonstration of Taiwan’s efforts as a responsible member of the international community.