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6.9 earthquake hits off coast of Taiwan

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has struck off the southeastcoast of Taiwan earlier today, the US Geological Survey reports.

The quake’s depth was at ten kilometres (6.2 miles), which is considered relatively shallow. The epicentre was 269 kilometres (167 miles) east of T’ai-tung, Taiwan. It struck at 10:59:50 local time, or 02:59:50 UTC.

The Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau said no tsunami warning was issued over the temblor; the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also said is no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami.. According to the Associated Press, some buildings in the capital Taipei swayed, although there weren’t any immediate reports of damage, injuries, or deaths.

Buildings swayed in Taipei, the capital, when the quake hit, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

On this day March 23, 1996

Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President.

Lee Teng-hui

Lee Teng-hui

The previous eight ROC presidential and vice presidential elections under the 1947 Constitution were by the deputies of the National Assembly.

Incumbent Lee Teng-hui of the ruling Kuomintang won a majority of 54% of the votes following missile tests by the People’s Republic of China intended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate against him.

The ruling Kuomintang nominated Lee Teng-hui in August 1995 at its 14th Party Congress after plans to institute a closed primary system by his opponents were thwarted. As his running mate, Lee chose Lien Chan, who promised to resign as Premier if he were elected Vice President. Read More…

6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit southern Taiwan on Thursday. According to USGS the epicenter was 23.1 km (14.4 miles) deep.

The quake struck at 8:18 a.m. (0018 UTC) in a mountainous region on the southeast coast and 40 miles east of cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung on the southwest coast. The earthquake was felt in capital Taipei which is 155 miles north of the epicenter.

Several fires were started and Taipei’s high-speed railway lines were stopped and are undergoing safety checks. CTI news agency reported one person was injured by falling debris in Kaohsiung, and one woman was hospitalized in the southern city of Chiayi. One person was hurt by a falling tree according to Central News Agency. Read More…

Former Taiwanese president jailed for life

Chen Shui-bian, the former president of Taiwan, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on charges of corruptions.Chen_shui_bian

The Taipei District Court found Chen guilty of embezzling over US$3 million from a presidential affairs fund.

The ex-president was also convicted of having accepted $9 million worth of bribes connected with government land deals.

Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-chen, the former first lady, was also jailed for life.

Several hundred demonstrators protesting against Chen’s conviction were outside the court, some of which threw bottles and other objects at law enforcement after the court had announced the verdict. Read More…

Typhoon Morakot leaves more than 10,000 missing

Torrential rains from the storm killed at least 41 people in Taiwan, with over 600 more missing, many of whom are feared dead after a massive mudslide buried an entire town.

An additional 23 people were killed in the Philippines and six more in China. Damages from the storm amounted to at least $1.3 billion in China and more than $2.1 billion in Taiwan.

In the Taiwan village of Xiaolin, of its 1,300 residents, about 600 are believed to have died in a mudslide. At least 10,000 others were missing in mountainous areas cutoff from the rest of the country, hundreds of whom are feared dead.

Hundreds missing after typhoon hits Taiwan

As many as six hundred villagers from the island of Taiwan are missing after torrential rains from Typhoon Morakot caused mudslides, according to state media.

Taiwanese authorities said that approximately a hundred people were rescued after a portion of a mountain started to slump and flooded the village of Shiao Lin in the south of the country.

“The mudslide covered a large part of the village, including a primary school and many homes. A part of the mountain above us just fell on the village,” said a rescued villager, Lin Chen-chung. Read More…

Typhoon Morakot set record-breaking heavy rain

Typhoon Morakot kills at least 36 people in the Philippines and Taiwan after producing a record-breaking 2,489 millimetres (98 in) of rainfall.


Typhoon Morakot Aug 7

In Taiwan, where schools were closed ahead of the typhoon, Morakot caused landslides, severe floods, blew down trees and billboards, and stripped roofs from buildings.

In a positive impact, Morakot brought much-needed rain to Taiwan, ending a months-long drought, and replenished reservoirs enough to warrant an end to water rationing.

On that island, two people were killed with four missing. Almost the entire southern Taiwan (Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsuing, and Pingtung) are flooded by record-breaking heavy rain.

It is estimated that rainfall in Pingtung County may reach as much as 2,500 millimeters, breaking all rainfall records of any single place in Taiwan induced by a single typhoon.

Airlines in Taiwan have held flights in and out of the airport, and seaports are closed. Electricity has been lost to approximately 25,000 homes. Japan experienced rain and strong winds from the typhoon.

Taiwanese march against president

Tens of thousands of protestors rallied in the streets of Taiwan on Sunday against president Ma Ying-jeou’s engagement policy with China.

Protestors claim Ma’s policies could possibly undermine the country’s self-rule. The march was lead by the chairman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen.

The march comes a few days before the anniversary of the president’s appointment, which is due on Wednesday.

The opposition claims that Ma will weaken the sovereignty of Taiwan, if he follows through on his pledge to abandon the anti-Chinese policies of his predecessors.

China claims sovereignty over the island nation, which split from the former when the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949. China has said numerous times that it will regain rule over Taiwan, even if it means using force.