China - Taiwan Province

Tainan City: Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 1


The situation

Following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that affected the city of Tainan near Kaohsiung city, Taiwan, the Taiwan Red Cross Organization (TRCO) has mounted an emergency response in support of ongoing efforts of the authorities. The shallow quake – with a depth of 10 kilometres – struck at 03:57h local time (UTC +8) on Saturday, 6 February 2016, when most residents were still sleeping. The quake caused considerable damage to buildings, including multi-storey residential apartments.

The latest update from the authorities indicates that at least 36 people have been confirmed dead, with 525 people injured, 91 hospitalized and 113 still missing. The number of casualties could increase as rescue workers reach people who are still trapped in rubble. More than 400 people have already been rescued as search and rescue teams comprising 3,919 personnel, five helicopters, 140 fire trucks and ambulances, and 27 rescue dogs continue to search for the missing. The situation is deemed to be within the capacity of the authorities, and local organizations, to respond and international support is not envisioned.

According to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB), at least five aftershocks of 3.8-magnitude or more have been recorded in Tainan since the Saturday pre-dawn quake. Taiwan is situated in the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, the meeting-point of two tectonic plates, and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In September 1999, a powerful quake hit central Taiwan, killing some 2,400 people.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Taiwan Red Cross Organization (TRCO) responded swiftly and deployed a team of at least 100 volunteers and staff to support search and rescue efforts of the authorities.
To meet immediate needs of affected earthquake survivors, Red Cross volunteers and staff are preparing and providing hot meals for hundreds of people who are staying in evacuation centres. TRCO has also distributed essential supplies, including 110 blankets, 100 sleeping bags and 200 warm jackets, to affected people in evacuation centres.

Furthermore, TRCO has dispatched more supplies to the affected areas while its relief teams are supporting 10 hospitals where the injured are receiving medical care. The teams are providing psychosocial support to the injured people and their families.

TRCO is also providing the most affected displaced families with cash to help them in overcoming immediate financial difficulties caused by the disaster. In this regard, each target family with injured member(s) will be provided with TWD 10,000 (CHF 297) while each family whose member(s) died as a result of the quake will be provided with TWD 100,000 (CHF 2,970).

Meantime, in support of TRCO’s response, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has donated RMB 2 million (CHF 301,000) while the Macau Branch of RCSC has donated USD 50,000 (CHF 49,500). The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is coordinating with TRCO on the response. The IFRC country cluster support team in Beijing as well as the disaster and crisis prevention, response and recovery (DCPRR) team of IFRC’s Asia Pacific regional office in Kuala Lumpur are in contact with TRCO and are ready to provide any support if requested. At this point however, international support is not envisioned since the situation is within the capacity of the authorities and local organizations.