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The Earthquake Hit at Dawn

Announcements     |    February 8, 2016 by tzu-webmaster


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A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57 AM on February 6, when most people were sleeping.

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February 12, 2016

Death toll increases to 116. Since the earthquake, 12,669 volunteers have mobilized to assist relief workers and affected families. They provided 20,176 hot meals, and distributed 1,839 blankets, 660 foldable beds, 560 scarves, 166 emergency kits, and 5 eco heaters. Direct financial aid was also offered to 120 families and 77 injured survivors. In total, $111,363 USD were distributed to help those in need.

While the epicenter was in the district of Meinung, Kaoshiung, it was the many aftershocks that caused the most damage, especially in the southwestern city of Tainan, where many buildings collapsed, leaving hundreds trapped or injured, and 34 dead.

Firefighters, police, the army and rescue workers mobilized quickly, and Tzu Chi took swift action as well.

Tzu Chi volunteers established a disaster command center, and volunteers in Tainan coordinated their efforts to immediately set up 15 service centers to help those affected by this tragic disaster. Despite the cold and humid weather, volunteers in Tainan gathered around 4 AM to prepare a hot breakfast for survivors and emergency personnel bringing aid.  

Since the relief operation began on February 6th, 3,140 volunteers went into action. They provided 7,960 hot meals, and distributed 704 blankets, 34 foldable beds, 64 scarves, 72 emergency kits, and 5 Rocket Oven Stoves. Direct financial aid was also offered to 102 families and 61 injured survivors. In total, $94,090 USD were distributed to help those in need. (Data from February 8th, 2016)

At the same time, more disaster relief goods were being delivered to Tainan. Apart from blankets and scarves to warm against the elements, shipments of Jing Si instant rice (which can be served with cold or hot water in a short period of time) and more Jing Si foldable beds (that can provide a comfortable place to sit and rest) were on their way.

Tzu Chi Foundation was born in Taiwan, but helps people around the world. When disaster strikes at the heart of where this global Buddhist humanitarian organization began, we have to mirror the love back to its source, while being mindful of our approach and actions in the process.

“In order to have a peaceful world, we must first have peace in our minds. Open our hearts and show love for those in need. We have given love and aid to those who live in distant places, and now that this happened so close to home, we feel the pain even more. Let’s pray for everyone’s safety and health during this time, and hope for the speedy rebuilding of the damaged structures.”

-Dharma Master Cheng Yen


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