Nationals of St. Kitts & Nevis safe, after major earthquake in Taiwan

By Val Henry,  

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 9th February, 2018, ( – The effects of Tuesday’s massive earthquake in Taiwan are still being felt across that nation, but thankfully, the students and other citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis who live and study in that Asian country are said to be safe and sound.

Out of concerns raised by family members here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the government on Thursday released a statement to assure relatives that their loved ones were doing well, and perhaps there was no need for immediate concern.

There are some 60 students from the two islands that attend universities in cities such as Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Taipei, Taoyuan, as well as the coastal city of Hualien where Tuesday’s powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake was centred.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ ambassador, resident in Taiwan, Jasmine Huggins, explained that even though some of the students live in and around Hualien, which was the most affected area, they were unharmed.

The ambassador is said to have reached out to the students to learn of their well-being and was successful in speaking with those in the affected area.

The release quoted the ambassador as saying, “We inquired about their well-being and safety and impressed upon them that they should follow the instructions of the local government since there are still aftershocks that may have an effect on some of the structures that were compromised.”

She added, “Our students have also been advised to contact the Embassy if they are in need of assistance.  We are very thankful that our students are safe, but we share the heartbreak of the people of Hualien who have been adversely affected, particularly at a time so close to Chinese New Year, a time for the reunion of family and friends.”

Nine people are confirmed dead and eight people are still missing after Tuesday’s earthquake.  Two hundred and seventy people were injured.

“Since I have been assured by the students here that they are safe and well, I would take this opportunity to assure their parents, loved ones and the nation at large of their well-being and ask for our citizens to hold the people of Taiwan in their prayers at this most difficult time,” H.E. Ambassador Huggins added.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Timothy Harris, expressed heartfelt condolences and support for the Republic of China (Taiwan) and its people.  Prime Minister Harris also assured the people of St. Kitts and Nevis of the students’ safety.


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