17 August 2009

CMCF will support ACT friends, families of East Asian typhoon victims

| Graham Cooke
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The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum is offering support to the ACT-based relatives and friends of the victims of the devastating typhoons which have hit East Asia in recent days.

After wreaking destruction in the Philippines, leaving 22 dead, Typhoon Morakot lashed Taiwan with the toll there climbing to more than 500 – including 300 from one village – as winds flattened buildings and more than 280cm of rain was dumped on the island in 48 hours.

The typhoon also caused chaos in coastal China with more than a million people evacuated and at least six dead. Meanwhile a separate storm, Etau, left at least 12 dead in Japan. CMCF Chair Sam Wong said he had been horrified by scenes in Taiwan where large buildings crumbled in the path of mud slides caused by the typhoon, burying unknown numbers of residents. “I have been in touch with the Taipei Cultural Office in Australia and its representative, Gary Song-huann Lin, has told me this is the worst storm Taiwan has experienced in half a century,” Mr Wong said.

“Dr Lin also expressed his appreciation and thanks for the response by the Australian Government and people to the disaster.” Mr Wong said the death toll was certain to rise in both Taiwan and China. “Our hearts go out to the friends and relatives of the victims as they wait for more news,” he said. “I will be making inquiries to see if a local appeal can be set up similar to the support we gave the Italian community after the Abruzzo Earthquake earlier in the year.

“Canberrans are generous, caring people and I know they will want to do whatever they can in response to this series of tragedies.”

In the meantime people who wish to make a donation can do so through Taiwan’s Mega International Commercial Bank. Account details are: Account Number, 007-09-087816; Account Name, Ministry of the Interior Donation Account; Swift Code, ICBTWTP007.

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