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July 28, 2017

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Gov't criticized for slow response to Tembin

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang blamed President Ma yesterday for not taking immediate actions in Typhoon Tembin's crisis zones in Southern Taiwan and the outer islands. Ma's decision to fly out to Lanyu Island yesterday aroused public criticism that his actions were too little, too late as the typhoon had already wreaked havoc on Monday.

Su dismissed Ma's actions as "always slower than the norm." He said that "Right now, the crucial thing is to help with recovery efforts, not surveying disasters around the island."

Lawmakers Aid in Relief Efforts

In the aftermath of Tembin, government officials plunged into recovery efforts in areas affected by the storm. Former Chair of the DPP Tsai Ing-wen paid Taitung City's hard-hit Lanyu Township Service Center and Hengchun Township. Although Tsai was more than willing to help, representative of the Tsai's foundation Hung Yao-fu stated that Tsai's resources were limited and hinted the government should step up.

Lawmaker Pan Meng-An directed questions at the Executive Yuan for not providing immediate relief sources to the victims of Hengchun households. He expressed that 30,000 households suffered electricity failure and 5,000 experienced water supply cuts, yet only the Pingtung County Government provided financial subsidies. "We saw no aid assistance from the Executive Yuan," he said.

Executive Yuan Defends Its Actions

Amid the array of accusations, spokesman Hu Yu-wei of the Executive Yuan defended the Premier Sean Chen's actions and explained his principles concerning when natural disasters occur. He stated, "The premier has been keenly aware of the development of the typhoon since a tropical depression began to form. After the typhoon hit, it was decided that the premier's appearance would hinder the process of the relief operations."

"Premier Sean Chen's priority was not to appear in front of the media to prove he was there. His priority was to make sure disaster responses were executed smoothly and thoroughly," Hu added.

Efforts to Rebuild Lanyu and Green Islands

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