Taiwan government to spend NT$16.6 billion on reinforcing school buildings

Some of Taiwan’s old school buildings do not meet safety regulations for earthquakes

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Premier Su Tseng-chang presides over work at the Central Emergency Operation Center after an earthquake hits Taiwan on April 18 (Screen capture from S

Premier Su Tseng-chang presides over work at the Central Emergency Operation Center after an earthquake hits Taiwan on April 18 (Screen capture from S

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Friday (April 19) he has approved a NT$16.6 billion (US$533) budget to reinforce school buildings in Taiwan.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County on Thursday (April 18) at 1:01 p.m. An official from the Central Weather Bureau’s (CWB) Seismological Center said the quake was caused by a release of energy that had built up underground due to tectonic plate friction.

Su announced on Friday via social media platforms that he has approved the funding over a three-year period. The aim is to improve the structure and seismic design of school buildings across the island.

Reinforced building projects have got underway over the past few years, but there are still school buildings that do not meet the safety regulations, said Su. The government’s goal is to make all the school buildings seismically resistant.

Seventeen people were injured during the earthquake on Thursday, including a 40-year-old Malaysian man surnamed Chu, who was seriously injured. In addition, two buildings in Taipei tilted slightly, but their structures were later confirmed safe after structural appraisals by experts.