DMW: No Filipino reported hurt in 6.9-magnitude Taiwan quake

DMW: No Filipino reported hurt in 6.9-magnitude Taiwan quake
A view of the collapsed Kaoliao bridge in eastern Taiwan's Hualien county on September 19, 2022, following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake on September 18.
AFP / Sam Yeh

MANILA, Philippines — There are no reports of Filipino casualties following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Taiwan on Sunday, but the Department of Migrant Workers stands ready to extend support to overseas Filipino workers affected by the quake.

In a statement on Monday, the DMW said Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople has already instructed the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and other Filipino labor officials in Taiwan to send regular updates on the situation. The secretary is part of the presidential delegation to the United States as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. attends the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

"I would like to assure our over 147,000 OFWs in Taiwan and their families that the DMW is ready to provide the needed assistance, particularly for those who have been affected by the earthquake," Ople said. 

Sunday’s earthquake left one person dead and left almost 150 others injured. The US Geological Survey initially logged it as 7.2-magnitude strong, but it was later downgraded to magnitude 6.9. 

While it did not leave OFW worksites or their dormitories damaged, the DMW noted that tremors and aftershocks continue in Taiwan. 

On Monday morning, aftershocks continued in southeastern Taiwan and a 5.5-magnitude earthquake was also felt in capital Taipei.

Ople calls on OFWs to follow instructions of Taiwan manpower agencies and other government agencies. She also encourages the Filipinos there to keep in touch with the Philippine government and Filipino community representatives.

The DMW also provided the following hotlines and Facebook Messenger of POLOs in Taiwan:

Contact: +886 932 218 057
Facebook Messenger: POLO Taipei

Contact: +886 966 537 732
Facebook Messenger: Meco Polo Taichung

Contact: +886 988 976 596
Facebook Messenger: Meco Polo Owwa Kaohsiung

Taiwan is regularly hit by quakes and most cause minimal damage but the island also has a long history of deadly tremors. 

Hualien, a tourist hotspot, was struck by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in 2018 that killed 17 people and injured nearly 300. 

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's history. — Kaycee Valmonte with reports from Agence France-Presse



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