Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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May 22nd
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Tzu Chi Sets Up Earthquake Command Center

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A major earthquake hit Japan on March 11 at 2:46 pm local time, and a tsunami struck hours later. The temblor, which registered 8.9 on the Richter scale, was the largest recorded quake in the country's history. The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has set up an emergency command center in Hualien, Taiwan to monitor the disaster zone and coordinate relief efforts.

Tzu Chi has also activated a global network of contacts, informing Tzu Chi chapters in Taiwan, Shanghai, Indonesia, and the Philippines to take all necessary precautions in the face of tsunami warnings, and reached out to long-term care recipients and their families as well. Aftershocks are being watched for closely.

Venerable Master Cheng Yen has already held a conference call with the Tzu Chi chapter in Japan and learned that all Tzu Chi members in Tokyo are safe. Master Cheng Yen conveyed her utmost concern for all the citizens of Japan, including the members of Rissho Kosei-Kai, a Buddhist organization, and hopes that Tzu Chi members in the Asia-Pacific region can establish contact with each other to confirm that they are safe.

As a succession of disasters have occurred in the world, Master Cheng Yen has emphasized the importance of mindfulness and sincerity in our behavior; the environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet; and greater self-reflection. By doing so, we can join our blessings and reduce the incidence and impact of disasters.