MECO: Latest reports show all Pinoys safe after Taiwan quake

March 5, 2010 11:14 pm 

MANILA, March 5 – The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) is keeping close watch on the welfare of some 75,000 Filipinos in Taiwan following an earthquake that hit at around 8 o'clock Friday morning.

MECO Resident Representative Antonio I. Basilio said the earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale at its epicenter in Chia Hsien, Kaohsiung County, some 45 minutes car ride from Kaohsiung City where MECO maintains an office.

The quake was also felt in varying degrees of between 1.0 and 4.0 throughout the rest of Taiwan, the Taiwan government reported.

Basilio said there were no reports of casualties, although operation of the Kaohsiung MRT and several train routes serving the Taiwan Eastern Coast were suspended until further notice due to rock fall.

No major structural damage was reported in Kaohsiung buildings other than broken ceilings and shattered glass windows.

"Fortunately, Taiwan has heightened preparedness for natural disasters like this and its building codes to help ensure structural integrity against earthquakes are among the world's most stringent," said Basilio.

Nevertheless, MECO is coordinating with its offices throughout Taiwan to ensure that all Filipinos are safe and accounted for, said Basilio.

Meanwhile, MECO also reported a fire that hit the Everest Textile Factory and employees' dormitory in Tainan Thursday morning. "We have about 150 OFWs there and the initial report is that all are safe. We are coordinating with their employer to ensure that they are all adequately taken care of," said Basilio. (PNA) vcs/PR/utb


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