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Cabinet to hold 921 earthquake commemorative activities: official

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan will hold a series of commemorative activities in the areas that were most heavily affected by the 921 earthquake, to mark the 10th anniversary of the disaster, Hsu Chiu-huang, deputy minister of the Government Information Office said Thursday.

The activities will be held mainly between Sept. 19-21, Hsu announced one day after Minister without Portfolio Fan Liang-shiow briefed the Cabinet on the plans for the events.

Apart from a commemorative evening gathering that will be held in Taipei, the activities will be centered in three of the areas that were most heavily hit by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on September 21, 1999.

Hsu said the Council for Hakka Affairs will organize a Hakka event in Dongshi township in the central county of Taichung, the Council of Agriculture will hold a thank-you function in Wufeng township in Taichung County, and Jiji township in Nantou County will host a cycling event.

In addition, the Council for Cultural Affairs will organize a commemorative concert in Chung Hsing New Village in Nantou County, while the 921 Earthquake Reconstruction Foundation will stage a similar event at National Chi Nan University in Puli, Nantou County, Hsu added.

After the briefing, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said that the activities should also pay tribute to the earthquake relief work that was done by foreign rescue teams and the Ministry of National Defense, and should highlight the results of the school rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the affected areas, according to Hsu.

The 921 earthquake, centered in Jiji, Nantou County, left 2,416 people dead or missing and over 11,000 severely wounded. Some 44,000 homes were completely destroyed in the quake, and the total damage was estimated at NT$300 billion (US$9.2 billion).

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