London, 7 February 2016/IHQ/ - The Salvation Army is supporting people affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake which struck the island of Taiwan in the early hours of Saturday 6 February 2016. The quake, which had its epicentre close to the southern city of Tainan, has caused several buildings to collapse and interrupted power and water supplies. Many Taiwanese people had travelled to the city this weekend ahead of Monday’s Chinese New Year celebrations, swelling the numbers involved. Media reports suggest that 26 people died and 500 were hurt, although the number of deaths is expected to rise.
A Salvation Army team from the Tainan Corps (church) - which itself sustained structural damage during the tremors - attended an evacuation centre which is accommodating 45 tenants of a collapsed four-storey residential block. Currently, the centre has sufficient supplies and warm blankets. No injuries were sustained by Salvation Army personnel.
The Salvation Army is also supporting efforts by churches and the Chinese Christian Evangelistic Association to provide grants to families affected by the disaster and to visit casualties who have been hospitalised.
The Regional Commander for The Salvation Army in Taiwan, Lieut-Colonel Jennifer Groves, has asked that Salvationists and friends be in urgent prayer for those who have been affected, the city of Tainan and the area as a whole. ‘Many have been shaken emotionally by this earthquake,’ she explains.
‘Please join us in prayer for the people of Tainan,’ she continues, ‘particularly those families who have suffered loss through the death of family members and/or the loss of their homes. We need God to be our courage, comfort, strength and hope at this time. Your prayers will be of great support to us.’
Salvation Army officers in Tainan will continue to be in dialogue with local groups in the coming days to assess what further Salvation Army response may be necessary.
Report by IHQ Communications