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Friday, September 22, 2006


921 quake victims still suffer, thanks to Mayor Ma

It's the 7th anniversary of 921 earthquake disaster yesterday. On September 21st, 1999, a huge earthquake struck mid-Taiwan, resulted in tremendous loss of lives and wealth. Many buildings collapsed, and even geography was changed.

Surprisingly, I couldn't find any news media over the net talking about this disaster. Comparing to the way American mourn their loss in 911, Taiwanese seem relatively absent-minded (or, cold-blooded?).

I can only find a report that is remotely related to 921: 921 7th anniversity, Tong-Hsing residents: belated justice is not in sight . In Taipei, far away from the epicenter, Tong-Hsing building ("East Star" building, 東星大樓) was the only one building that collapsed during 921. It resulted in the loss of 87 lives. What is ironic is, it has been 7 years, yet the government led by Ma Ying-jeou couldn't even solve the issue of a single building. Not only the building hasn't been rebuilt yet, but also the compensation to the victims is still pending.

In contrary to Ma's impotence, a collapsed building located in Taipei Country has been rebuilt 4 years ago.

Here are some paragraphs:

921七週年 東星住戶:等不到遲來正義
921 7th anniversity, Tong-Hsing residents: belated justice is not in sight

中央社 2006-09-21 12:51
It's the 7th anniversary of 921 earthquake. The only building that collapsed in Taipei hasn't yet been rebuilt, the national compensation to the victims' family is still pending. Chen Jian-Hua (陳建華), victim's family, said that their situation is like the orphans abandoned by justice, living is worst than the 87 victims who died in the event.

"Tong-Hsing residents are not spacemen!" Chen, who lost his mother and younger brother in 921, said that 7 years has past since 921. Long-Ger (龍閣), a building that collapsed in Taipei County during 921, has long been rebuilt, but waiting for 4 extra years (after Long-Ger's rebuild), Tong-Hsing residents are still suffering the rain shower in the old debris.

Chen said, 921 has brought to the victims' family too much unforgotten sorrow. "Family separated, home broken, especially the long and complicated process of national compensation court, if not for the volunteer aid of lawyers Cheng Wen-Long() and Tsai Chih-Yang(), we didn't have chance to win the district court."

However, in the eve of the 7th anniversary, the Supreme Court denied the national compensation and issued a re-consideration, which delivered a huge impact on Tong-Hsing residents. Chen said, "Wait for 7 years for the belated justice, we are like the helpless spacemen, like orphans abandoned by justice." He thinks that the 87 victims can not rest in peace even today.

陳建華表示,台北市政府工務局 (Public Works Departments of Taipei City Government) 因審照不實,造成廠商偷工減料,使東星大樓瞬間毀滅性倒塌,已經讓罹難者家屬流盡了眼淚,而另一項打擊,讓受災戶傷痛加深。
According to Chen, Public Works Departments of Taipei City Government didn't carry out the building code, allowing the construction company chances to use cheaper materials, resulted in the sudden deadly collapse of Tong-Hsing building. It already caused the survivors to run out of their tears. The current impact (the pending of national compensation) causes even more harm to the victim family.

As Ma has been beautified by media for years, people always think of Ma Ying-Jeou as the most promising candidate for the 2008 president campaign. Can you imagine handing over the entire country to a politician who can't even solve the issue of one single building for 7 years ?

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