China - Taiwan Province

Tzu Chi continues its cleanup work for affected homes by typhoon Morakot in Southern Taiwan - over 80,000 volunteers joining the relief work

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Tzu Chi Foundation continues its cleanup work in Southern Taiwan. On August 16 alone, over 18,000 volunteers and local residents joined the cleanup effort. Over 10,000 volunteers, including 3,500 local residents, joined the cleanup work in Pingtung area; while over 4,500 volunteers, including 3,400 local residents, joined the cleanup work in Kaoshiung area. As of August 16, over 80,000 Tzu Chi volunteers have been mobilized to assist with the relief work.

During weekends, many people usually go to outdoor areas to enjoy nature along with their families. However, since Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan, many of the natural sceneries in Southern Taiwan have been damaged. Television news continuously show footages of water and mud covering the landscape. It is truly devastating! Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi Foundation said, "When others are hurt, we feel the pain. When others suffer, we feel the sorrow. It is the ninth day since Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan. The time has been passing so slowly. What is most needed in the disaster areas now is comfort, care, hugs and the contact and interaction between people."

Even before the typhoon arrived, Tzu Chi Foundation set up an emergency coordination center. Immediately after the typhoon struck, Tzu Chi volunteers mobilized to provide emergency assistance. In the long-term recovery effort, Tzu Chi will continue to assist with the cleanup work after the flooding, provide emotional and spiritual care, and provide long term financial assistance and housing. Master Cheng Yen hopes that at times like this, more Bodhisattvas (volunteers) will appear to join the relief efforts.

Besides the global fundraising campaign to raise funds for recovery work, Master Cheng Yen hopes to take this opportunity to spread the seeds of Great Love to the community by purifying our mind and actions, which will in turn lead to a harmonious society and create a world free of disasters. Master Cheng Yen said, "After seeing the people suffer in the disaster areas, we should create blessings by recruiting more friends and families to join the relief work."

Mr. Raphael Gamzou, representative of the Israeli Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan, along with his wife, Mrs. Michal Gamzou, contacted the Israeli government and an Israeli company to provide 200 sets of water purification devices to the disaster areas. In 30 minutes, these devices turn murky flood water into drinking water. In addition, the Israeli government and the company also provided two transportation devices to transport water to remote disaster areas. Mrs. Michal Gamzou also joined Tzu Chi volunteers' cleanup work on August 15 .

Tzu Chi Foundation has hosted several community events over the weekend to send blessings to the affected residents in disaster areas. As of August 16, over 36,000 eco-friendly blankets, 150,000 sets of eco-friendly bowls and utensils, 60,000 relief kits, and cash assistance to 22,000 households have been personally delivered to the affected residents.

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