Taiwan is located on the circum-Pacific earthquake zone, where thousands of earthquakes occur every year. To enhance the seismic resistance of public buildings, the Executive Yuan (EY) in June 2000 ratified a project to assess and fortify their seismic resistance; however the execution was less than ideal. The Control Yuan (CY) thus launched an investigation to protect the lives and property of citizens.
The investigation found that as of mid-January, 2014, a total of 25,536 initial assessments of the seismic resistance of public buildings had been made by the EY, its subordinate agencies, and municipal and county governments, a 97% execution rate. A total of 10,429 buildings had detailed assessments conducted on them, a 78% execution rate, with fortification having been made to 3,344 buildings, a 45% execution rate. A total of 583 buildings were torn down, a 52% demolition rate. In the case of the latter two figures, these rates are considered low.
The CY continued follow-ups regarding the less than satisfactory performance of the EY, which in addition to amending the project to assess and fortify seismic resistance of public buildings in December 2017, raised its completion rate. The EY replied with an official document in July 2019 stating that as of June 20th, 2019, a total of 29,957 initial assessments had been conducted by all levels of government, raising the completion rate to 99.7%; detailed assessments of a total of 15,721 buildings had been completed, raising the completion rate to 96.8%; fortification had been made to 7,799 buildings, raising the completion rate to 78.6%; and a total of 1,932 buildings had been torn down, raising the completion rate to 83%. In comparison to the execution rate in 2014, initial assessments were up by 2.7%, detailed assessments by 18.8%, fortification rate by 33.6%, and demolition rate by 31%, ensuring the safety of public buildings.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) General Comment No. 4—“The Right to Adequate Housing” —mentions residents being free from dangerous buildings, illustrating that the right to such freedom has become an international trend. As the national human rights institution, the CY will follow-up monitoring of the seismic safety of buildings to protect the lives and property of citizens as well as ensure their freedom from fear.
Source: Control Yuan, Taiwan