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[Taiwan]Responding to the Earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan

After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan on April 3rd, Peace Winds Japan immediately began gathering information and assessing support needs. Alongside, Peace Winds’ longtime partner organization in Taiwan, the Taiwan Disaster Medicine Assistant Team (DMAT), swiftly dispatched personnel to the severely affected Taroko National Park area in Hualien to assist in setting up medical facilities, participating in rescue missions, and managing the health of rescue teams.
On April 6th, Peace Winds’ headquarters in Japan sent a four-member emergency support team consisting of nurses, coordinators and others to Hualien. They immediately visited the disaster area, liaised with local NGOs, and assessed support requirements, distributing essential supplies.

From April 6th onwards, the emergency support team has been actively engaged in support activities in Hualien. While water supply in the city has largely returned to normal, the repair work on residential and commercial buildings is ongoing. Buildings identified as having collapse risks have been marked with red and yellow tags, with residents evacuated to safer locations. Most have relocated to relatives’ homes or hotels, while some sought refuge in primary shelters set up by one local temple.

The support team identified shortages of supplies, including water, around some evacuation sites and distributed water, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and candies to those in need. Additionally, they established communication with the local government, which is currently relying on voluntary evacuations and non-designated shelters, showing an active attitude towards understanding citizens’ needs and the extent of damage in the city.

For future long-term support, based on thorough local needs assessment, Peace Winds plans to continue providing material support to those in need and consider initiatives such as psychological support for the elderly, employment support for unemployed youth, long-term prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological care for affected villages. Furthermore, collaboration with local disaster relief organizations is underway to plan preparedness and disaster prevention projects for quicker response to future disasters.
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