Morakot brought outpouring of sympathy and aid from many places

Typhoon Morakot, which hit Taiwan on August 8th, 2009, was the worst natural disaster to hit the island in over 50 years. In its wake the storm left hundreds of casualties and thousands homeless in the island nation.

As terrible as the tragedy was, however, it also made many Taiwanese people realize the extent of goodwill and kindness in our global society, as the support of the international community both within the nation and from foreign lands has done a great deal to increase the speed and effectiveness of the rescue mission and aid efforts.

William Stanton, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, noted that the US sent two heavy-lift and two medium-lift helicopters to Taiwan immediately after the Typhoon Morakot for rescue missions.

In addition to US$250,000 donated to the Red Cross Taiwan for disaster relief, the US also brought in more than half a million water purification tablets and 120 big rolls of plastic to be used as topping to provide temporary shelters for the flood survivors, he said.
Stanton added that Christmas is the time associated with goodwill, peace and charity, and he believes the victims and survivors of the typhoon have already experienced a little bit of the Christmas spirit during the aftermath of the disaster – not only from domestic aid, but also from the many people from around the world who contributed to Taiwan.

British Trade and Cultural Office Director David Campbell said he was “very shocked” to see the devastation wrought by Typhoon Morakot.

“What we have tried to do, as the British Community in Taiwan is to contribute to the relief works. We have also worked with a number of British companies that are based in Taiwan to give help in rehabili-tation.”

The UK representative said he wants to express his deepest sympathy to those who lost loved ones in the typhoon.
“I know for these people Christmas will be a difficult period, because it is a time when they would have had their family with them. I hope their lives will be easier next year and they will get to a more normal life.”

He also thought it was very heartwarming to see the extent to which people in Taiwan have been very generous towards their fellow citizens.
Finnish Representative Jari Seilonen, who made a personal donation to help the relief work, said he hopes that the future will bring happy things to people who were affected by Typhoon Morakot and the subsequent flooding.

“I hope those who have been affected can still believe in the future, and recover mentally and physically as much as possible.”
“It is such an enormous suffering for the affected people, who have to rebuild their lives from zero” he added, “I hope everything will be all right for them as soon as possible.”

Jaroslav Dolecek, representative of the Czech Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, also said he felt deeply sorry for the victims of the disasters, especially as just three months prior to the passage of the typhoon, he had traveled to southeastern Taiwan to meet with Rukai aboriginal tribesmen.

Dolecek said his country has donated US$50,000 to the Red Cross in Taiwan as humanitarian aid to victims in Taiwan. “I know it will be really hard for these victims, especially during the upcoming Christmas time.”

“I hope the victims can build their new homes, and the sooner the better, since having a home and shelter is the most important thing.”
Alice Cawte, Representative of the Australian Commerce and Industry Office, also expressed her sympathy for the losses sustained by the people of Taiwan in the typhoon.

“The Australian government acted quickly to send assistance, providing mainly water purification tablets and sanitation equipment amounting to A$200,000.”

According to Cawte, Christmas is a time for families to come together and a time to reflect on the important things in life. It is also a time for acknowledging our good fortune and for sharing that good fortune with others.

“I would like to say that our hearts go out to those who are facing the daunting task of reconstruction. And I would like to wish all people in Taiwan safe, happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year,” said Cawte.

Antonio Basilio, representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office said that NGOs and the Filipino Chinese organization sent clothing and other materials to Morakot-affected areas.

“Our office in Kaohsiung visited some affected areas, particularly where there are concentrations of Filipinos married to Taiwanese. We also attended to some workers affected by the flood.”

Basilio hoped that those who have suffered and endured material, human, and emotional losses could take comfort in the fact that the whole world sympathizes with them and hopes that they recover soon.
“The material aspects of it—loss of property—will come soon enough. For those who lost their loved ones, it might take a bit longer and of course, they are irreplaceable losses, and I hope that they will take comfort that their loved ones are at peace and that many, many people are praying for them.”

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