SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed regret over the loss of lives in the massive earthquake which shook southern Taiwan on Saturday (Feb 6) morning.
In his Facebook post, Mr Lee said: "Saddened to hear about the loss of lives and damage in Tainan, Taiwan, from this morning’s earthquake. My thoughts are with the affected families. It must be especially difficult with the New Year approaching and everyone looking forward to the celebrations."
He said Singapore's Trade Office in Taipei is contacting Singaporeans known to be in the area and said he was glad those contacted so far are safe. The prime minister said his government has offered assistance to Taiwan.
"We have also contacted the Taiwan authorities to offer our support and help," Mr Lee said. 'If you are in the affected area, stay safe and do help others who are in need. "
Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan also conveyed his condolences to the people of Tainan who faced the tragedy which also caused injury to more than a hundred people.
"We send our deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones in the earthquake. The Singapore government will be contacting the Taiwanese authorities to offer our assistance in the rescue efforts," said Dr Balakrishnan.
Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore's Trade Office in Taipei is contacting registered Singaporeans in Tainan and the vicinity which was affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake. The Foreign Minister said so far no reports have been received from the Taiwanese authorities about any Singaporean casualties or those affected by the disaster.
He stated that the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei will continue its efforts in contact tracing of Singaporeans in Tainan and nearby cities.
Mr K Shanmugam, the Minister of Home Affairs and Law, said Singapore has offered to send the Singapore Civil Defence Force's Lionheart contingent to help with the rescue.
"They are on stand-by should the Taiwanese authorities need our assistance," he wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
The Trade Office has urged Singaporeans in affected areas to remain calm and exercise vigilance as there could be aftershocks. They can contact its Taipei office for any assistance or the 24-hour Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office.
Singapore Trade Office in Taipei
Duty Office no: (+886) 953 532 638
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hour)
Tel: (+65) 6379 8800/8855