Friday, August 14, 2009

Important Volunteer Update

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your continuing concern for the Typhoon Morakot victims. So many people from all over the world have volunteered to help, which touches us all!

We would like to share an important volunteer update at this time.

Many regions have already started to recover, bit by bit. The need for basic essentials, such as food and water, has dramatically decreased. People are now beginning to clean up their homes, as well as dispose of damaged property and garbage on the streets. Some major exceptions are in hard-to-access mountainous areas of Taiwan, chiefly in Kaohsiung County.

There is certainly much left to accomplish - we are not seeking to underplay the severity of the situation - but we have decided that from this point forward, local relief efforts will run much more smoothly if local governments take the lead. They will thus coordinate further volunteer efforts, and DPP teams will return from their stations in Tainan and Pingtung.

If you would still like to travel to southern Taiwan to help with the ongoing relief efforts, please utilize the following contact information provided below.

Please keep in mind that there are many more people in the south who speak predominately Taiwanese, rather than Chinese. In addition, it is unlikely that many local government officials on the ground will be able to provide foreign volunteers with English-language assistance. Therefore, we highly recommend that potential volunteers possess excellent Taiwanese or Chinese language skills.

Once again, thank you for your outpouring of support. We will continue to post frequent updates on this blog to keep you informed of all major developments.

Warmest regards,

The DPP Department of International Affairs

Local Government Contact Information:

Tainan County

Pingtung County

Chiayi County

Kaohsiung City

Taitung County
陳瑩委員台東設立捐贈中心 招募志工站 專線:089-360612

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Relief Update from the DPP Department of International Affairs

Dear everyone,

DPP headquarters and local chapters recently have been occupied by the Typhoon Morakot disaster relief operations. Floods, mudflows and landslides...the worst in the 50 years. While most of the counties in the South are fortunately able to start the recovery process, the rescue mission still continued in mountainous areas and Kaohsiung county, where death and causality numbers are still rising.

I just came back from Tainan county with my colleges last night. We were the first DPP disaster relief team to go to the south - some of us went to Tainan and the others went to Pingtung. We work in three-day shifts, and now the second team is stationed in these two counties (the Tainan team is led by DPP Dept of International Affairs Bikhim Hsiao). When we first departed to Tainan three days ago, we traveled with three volunteers... but now there are 73. In Pingtung, there are also about 60 volunteers. DPP HQ just sent a new team to Kaohsiung county this morning.

Tainan county is slowly recovering now. There is no flooding, but it still rains quit often. (I was told by my colleges in Pingtung that it rains non-stop there, so they have to work in the rain and their clothes are never dry.) We've delivered items such as water, instant noodles, bread, and cookies to the families trying hard to clean their houses and furniture covered with mud (they still don't have stable electricity or a stable water supply). What worries us is the possible outbreak of the disease once the weather gets better (since the garbage is still piling up on the streets and there is dead fish and rotten fruit floating down the rivers). The next immediate task is to clean up the community.

I've uploaded the photos we took in Tainan on our DPP Foreign Facebook Page.

Your support and help are a source of great comfort and encouragement to us as well as those families impacted by the typhoon.

Best regards,

Hsiaoching Liu
Associate researcher
DPP Department of International Affairs

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Need of Type AB Blood Donors
The blood bank is running low on type AB blood. Please ask individuals with type AB or type O blood who are eligible for blood donation to donate at a local blood bus.

PxMart Suspends Collections of Donated Clothing; Currently Needs Volunteers to Organize Goods

Volunteers are needed at the Pxmart (全聯福利中心) Headquarters next to exit 5 of the Shandao Temple metro Station to sort through donated clothing and goods. Currently the location has stopped collecting goods and clothing, and is now sorting through donations, in order to prepare to ship them to typhoon-stricken areas. Please contact 2356-3136 for more information! All help would be greatly appreciated.

Help Is on the Way from DPP HQ
This morning, the DPP sent off 17 tonnes of supplies and dozens of party volunteers to help with disaster relief efforts this morning. God Bless Taiwan!

Access to Health Care for Typhoon Victims
Anyone residing in typhoon-stricken areas who might have lost his National Health Insurance Card will still be covered simply by providing your National ID number.

Emergency Evacuation Notices in Kaohsiung & Pingtung

Kaohsing County has issued an emergency evacuation notice to Pao-lai township (寶來村). Landslides have rendered the dam in the upper stream of the Pao-lai portion in the Lao-nong (荖農) River unstable. Out of safety concerns, Pingtung County has taken precautionary measures by relocating the residents of Tsai-liao (菜寮), Jiu-liao (舊寮), Hsin-feng (新豐), Si-ma (司馬), and Da-pu (大埔) townships to Kao-shu (高樹)junior high and elementary schools.

News from Pingtung Emergency Operations Center

Tuesday, August 11th

The Pingtung Emergency Operations Center rescued 650 people from Wu Tai Township, with the help of helicopters dispatched by the fire department.
Tuesday, August 11th

Former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) Helps Handle Relief Supplies and Urges People to Make Monetary Donations

Former Premier Su Tseng-chang helped handle relief supplies while visiting the service center of DPP Taipei County Director Wu Ping-Jui (吳秉叡). He indicated to reporters that he has been pleading for monetary donations, which have hitherto reached 35 million TWD (about 1 million USD)! Su also called upon everyone to join together to help their fellow Taiwanese.
Tuesday, August 11th

Urgent call for volunteers traveling to Taitung County

Taitung County is in dire need of volunteers for the following two tasks:

A) Handling donated clothing (multiple volunteers needed)
Location: Relief Center at Jieda Elementary School (介達國小), Jinfong Township (金峰鄉), Taitung County.

B) Answering phone calls (2 volunteers)
Location: Curriculum and Instruction Division office, Da Wang Junior High (大王國中), Taimali Township (太麻里鄉), Taitung County.

Jinfong Township (金峰鄉) town hall in Taitung County has reported ample relief supplies. It advises people to temporarily stop forwarding emails regarding the need to donate goods to the township. The overwhelming number of phone calls to Da Wang Junior High School of Taimali Township (太麻里鄉), asking to help, has affected the operations of school. Thank you so much, everyone!
On the afternoon of August 11, DPP Headquarters staff and volunteers working in Tainan County continued to deliver relief supplies to the four villages comprising Danei (大內) and Chiahsien (甲仙鄉) townships.