China - Taiwan Province

Tzu Chi immediate relief for survivors of typhoon Morakot in Taiwan

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Severe flooding and damage caused by Typhoon Morakot in Southern Taiwan since August 7 have left many residents hungry and homeless.

In response, Tzu Chi volunteers residing in disaster areas have offered nearly 200,000 hot meals to their affected communities. Tzu Chi volunteers continue relief efforts, providing relief kits as well assistance through emergency cash assistance, medical care, cleaning, and care.

Each relief kit contains a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and instant rice or noodles to meet the daily needs of affected residents. On August 10, three thousand relief kits were distributed in Kaoshiung area alone.

Tzu Chi volunteers offer comprehensive care for affected residents. In response to the different circumstances for each affected household, Tzu Chi has provided emergency cash, ranging from NT$5,000 to NT$10,000, per household. For vulnerable families, Tzu Chi will continue to provide medium- and long-term care and financial assistance based on further assessment. Tzu Chi will also distribute 50,000 eco-friendly blankets (made from recycled plastic bottles) to affected families during home visits.

All Tzu Chi Hospitals of Taiwan and Tzu Chi medical volunteers have begun to provide free medical assistance in disaster areas. Medical personnel from Guanshan Tzu Chi General Hospital in Taitung have provided free on-site medical care in Taimali. Guanshan Tzu Chi General Hospital has set up temporary medical stations at Tzu Chi's recycling stations in the Taimali area, with doctors on-site over August 10-14. In addition to seeing patients at medical stations, doctors have traveled to local shelters to provide assistance.

According to one medical doctor volunteer, most common conditions include common colds, body aches and chronic diseases, as well as post-traumatic stress. Doctors and medical personnel will continue to follow Tzu Chi volunteers to provide aid and care as long as needed.

On August 9, Tzu Chi headquarters in Hualien prepared 16,000 kg of instant rice and noodles to be delivered to Pingtung, Kaoshiung and Tainan. Each portion of instant rice and noodles are presented in an eco-friendly bowl. For the first two days after the typhoon, Tzu Chi volunteers delivered hot meals to needy households. Once the water recedes, Tzu Chi volunteers will demonstrate how to prepare instant rice and instant noodles at home to affected residents, in order to free more volunteers to help clean homes in the community. Tzu Chi volunteers has started clean up homes in the following areas: Dong Gang (Pingtung), Ren De, Shan Hua and Yong Kang (in Tainan).

Each household that received aid from Tzu Chi has also received a letter from Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi Foundation. In the letter, Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi volunteers from around the world expressed deep concern and offered them heartfelt wishes and blessings. Master Cheng Yen prays that affected residents will recover quickly and safely from this disaster, and that all people will continue to help one another physically and emotionally and to rebuild homes. In addition, Master Cheng Yen continues to urge all to love all sentient beings and to protect our environment.

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