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Home Feature Stories Typhoon Morakot Typhoon Morakot Relief Work by Medical Personnel and Volunteers

Typhoon Morakot Relief Work by Medical Personnel and Volunteers

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Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan on August 7, 2009 producing torrential rain which led to severe floods, enormous mudslides, and landslides on August 8; many villages in Southern Taiwan and Taitung were either completely buried or damaged. Tzu Chi volunteers, using rafts as their transportation, delivered hot meals and relief kits from door to door. Doctors and medical personnel from Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) set up clinics and saw patients at the temporary clinics made up of a few tables and chairs. All six of the Tzu Chi hospitals mobilized all their medical personnel to conduct free clinics, assist with cleanup work and fundraising efforts, lead prayers and pack and deliver emergency medical kits to disaster areas.

August 9 (first day after the disaster) – commencement of medical assistance
Dr. Chien Shoushin of Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital requested for 30 medical volunteers to assist with the relief work in Southern Taiwan. At the same time, Guanshan Tzu Chi Hospital and TIMA in Eastern Taiwan mobilized medical volunteers to set up temporary clinics at shelters in Taitung to provide free medical assistance.

August 12 (fourth day after the disaster)
Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center started to provide free medical assistance in Taimali, Taitung. Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital set up temporary free clinics in Wandan Town, Shinyuan Town, Dongang Town, Dongshih Town, and etc. TIMA medical personnel in Southern Taiwan started to provide medical assistance in Jiadong Town and Shinyuan Town.

USA and Taiwan TIMA and medical personnel from Guanshan Tzu Chi Hospital travelled a long way in order to arrive at the Shinfu Recreation Center in Taimali. The medical personnel distributed relief goods and saw patients from Jialan Village while at the recreation center.

August 14 (sixth day after the disaster)

Southern Cross-Island Highway was blocked after the typhoon. On the sixth day after the typhoon struck, part of the highway was restored. Guanshan Tzu Chi Hospital medical personnel travelled a long way by taking the old roads in order to carry medical supplies and medicine into Lito Tribe, which has been isolated for several days. The medical personnel went into the tribe to take care of local residents who suffered from chronic illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure and gout.

August 15 (seventh day after the disaster)
Flood survivors spent the entire day cleaning up the mud and dirt in their homes. As a result, many people suffered from skin diseases, infections from wounds, and etc. Teams of medical personnel from Taichung and Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital set up a temporary clinic in Jinshing Village, Chiayi County.

Medical team from Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital set up a temporary clinic in Linbian train station. Dirt and mud surrounded the train station. Local residents brought some big round dining tables which were used as desks for doctors to see patients.

August 16 (eighth day after the disaster)
Guanshan and Yuli Tzu Chi Hospital, Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center and Eastern Taiwan TIMA were in charge of caring for the patients in Taimali region of Taitung. Each day, five medical personnel (including a pharmacist) would travel to various tribes, communities and shelters to see patients in Taimali Town and Jinfong Town. Nonstop medical assistance was provided until August 16, when roads were restored. A total of 353 patients were helped during this period of time.

August 18 (tenth day after the disaster)
Five villages in Linbian Town are still flooded. Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital started a nighttime clinic to see the sick and injured villagers who were busy cleaning up their homes.

By August 18, there were 5 day clinics in Linbian Town. One of the clinics was set up by Southern Taiwan TIMA in a car repair shop, one was set up by Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital in front of a park, one was set up by Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital in front of a temple, one was set up by Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital in Linbian Junior High School, and another one was set up by Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center next to a freeway. At night, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital provided nighttime clinics next to a park and in Chifong Village.

August 19 (eleventh day after the disaster)
Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center, Taipei and Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital prepared and delivered 7,000 emergency medical kits to the flood survivors.

August 26 (eighteenth day after the disaster)
Medical personnel from Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital delivered medical supplies and medicine into Lutian Temple’s temporary clinic in Linbian Town. Many patients were injured from car and motorcycle related accidents because Linbian Town’s roads were slippery and covered with mud. The head of the village made an announcement, “Dear villagers, please pay attention to this message. We are touched that Tzu Chi is here again to help us. They truly care for us and they’re setting up a temporary medical clinic here once again.”

After Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan, many people travelled across Taiwan to assist with the cleanup work in Southern Taiwan. Every day, the flood survivors saw a lot of smiles and less mud in their town because these volunteers brought with them love and hope.

Global Tzu Chi volunteers will continue with the fundraising campaign in the future to assist with the reconstruction work. The road to recovery is long. Tzu Chi is planning to build permanent homes and Great Love villages that not only respect each village’s religion and faith, but also preserve each tribe’s traditions and cultures. In addition, Tzu Chi will be cooperating with corporations to provide career counseling and agricultural assistance. We sincerely hope that together with the flood survivors, we can create many ecovillages that are filled with love and hope.

As of August 31, here are the statistics on Tzu Chi’s Typhoon Morakot relief work:
• Provided over 500,000 hot meals
• Provided over 40,000 boxes of instant noodles and instant rice
• Provided over 40,000 eco-friendly blankets
• Provided over 210,000 sets of eco-friendly utensils and bowls
• Provided over 9,000 emergency medical kits
• Provided over 60,000 relief kits
• Provided 433 machineries for cleanup work
• Provided emergency cash assistance to 6,226 households
• Mobilized 9,443 Tzu Chi medical personnel for medical services
• Mobilized over 148,000 Tzu Chi volunteers

(By Public Communication of Tzu Chi hospitals; translated by: Grace Chen; edited by: Stella Wang)
 

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