Governor Tom Vilsack and a delegation of Iowans traveling in the Far Eastwere not hurt in yesterday’s earthquake in Taiwan. Vilsack and the 15 other Iowans were awakened as the earthquake rumbled, butnone were injured in their hotel. A nearby hotel was demolished and otherbuildings destroyed in the ‘quake, which was about the same strength as theone which struck Turkey last month. The group of Iowans, includingrepresentatives from farm groups, is on a 12-day trade mission to Taiwan,Japan and China, touting the purchase of Iowa-grown meat.Governor Tom Vilsack says he prayed after being shaken awake by theearthquake in Taiwan. The earthquake hit at two am. Newton RepresentativePaul Bell was staying on the 17th floor and says he at first thought it wasstrong winds from a storm. But once he learned it wasn’t winds he was scaredto death the building was going to collapse. Bell says things got worse after the first tremors ended as there wereseveral aftershocks. The governor has called off the Taiwan portion of thetrip as officials there are now too busy to talk trade.
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