Besides the volunteers in Southern and Central Taiwan, some Tzu Chi volunteers in northern Taiwan have also joined the relief operation in Southern Taiwan. Tzu Chi Foundation branch offices around the world have been receiving non-stop calls from people who wanted to make a donation to support Tzu Chi Foundation's relief efforts. On August 10, over 100,000 viewers visited the Foundation's website to obtain information or make a donation. Many large corporations have also contacted Tzu Chi Foundation for purposes of making either financial or in-kind donation.
With diminishing rainfall across Taiwan, Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi Foundation, urges all Tzu Chi volunteers to pay attention to sanitation and hygiene issues, especially on the possible outbreak of swine flu. Master Cheng Yen emphasizes that post flood period is often the incubator of epidemic disease. Hence, it is important that we provide clean water and keep the environment hygienic and safe. As a result, Tzu Chi Foundation has called for help from volunteers and residents in southern Taiwan to assist in the clean-up efforts. Medical personnel and volunteers from Tzu Chi hospitals in Guanshan and Dalin have already traveled to remote areas to set up temporary free clinics, while the medical personnel and volunteers from Tzu Chi Medical Center in Hualien are on standby and ready to travel to remote areas to provide assistance.
Since the first day Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan, Tzu Chi Foundation has not ceased its relief operation. As of August 11, over 17,000 Tzu Chi volunteers participated in the relief efforts. The volunteers prepared and delivered more than 200,000 hot meals, 6,000 relief kits (containing towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and food), 250,000 kg of instant rice, 20,000 boxes of instant noodles, 150,000 sets of eco-friendly bowls and utensils and more than 26,000 eco-friendly blankets. Tzu Chi will continue to provide these daily necessities as long as they are needed. In addition, Tzu Chi will continue to provide emergency cash, ranging from NT$5,000 to NT$10,000 per household, to the affected families.
International media has expressed sympathy over Taiwan's losses during this disaster. Master Cheng Yen continues to urge everyone to provide assistance, in any form, to the people affected by this disaster, as the path to recovery remains long and challenging.
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