By Formosa Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
Super Typhoon Nepartak, which took the lives of three people in Formosa, made landfall on Taimali Township of Taitung County, Formosa on the morning of July 8, 2016. The maximum sustained wind reached a speed of 65 meters per second, which broke a 61-year record. Nepartak also ravaged Taitung with heavy rain. The agricultural losses in Taitung were estimated at over 731 million Taiwan dollars. More than 1,000 roofs of residential houses were destroyed, and nearly 90 percent of the houses in Xianglan Village of Taimali Township were damaged, leaving most of them uninhabitable.
Concerned about the severe damage, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked our Association members to form a team and begin relief work. With a TWD 450,000 (US$14,000) fund provided by Master, eight of our Association members from the counties of Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, Tainan, Pingtung and Taitung gathered together in Taitung.
On July 12, upon entering Xianglan Village, our relief team saw many roofs of homes torn off. Walking further into the community, debris and ruins were seen everywhere. The situation was miserable. It was very admirable to see that Mr. Li Chin-Huei, the former speaker of Taitung County Council, had gathered dozens of volunteers together to purchase supplies and exert tremendous effort in helping the villagers clean up their homes.
Mr. Li led our team through the most severely damaged and economically disadvantaged part of Xianglan Village. We gave the household of each victim TWD 5,000 and a bag of vegan food supplies, including rice, oil, soy sauce, instant noodles, cookies and oat mix, and a copy of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer, and The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet.
With grief and anguish, Mr. Li said,
“These charred sugar apples must be dug up and replanted. If the saplings survive until spring next year, it would take four years for a small harvest and five years for a regular harvest. However, the government disaster relief grant is only for one year, which means that for the next four years, the victims’ lives would be in trouble.”
We learned that the Xianglan Village chief, Mr. Hsiao Hui-Ming, despite having two of his family’s homes severely damaged, rushed to the victim shelter when the typhoon waned. He ceaselessly assisted the villagers with their problems and helped distribute relief supplies. The villagers praised him as “the best volunteer” because of his dedication to the relief work. Our relief team, moved by his selfless spirit, gave him financial assistance as well as a bag of vegan food supplies, a copy of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer, and The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet. We hope that through Master’s spiritual blessing, his work will go smoothly, and the post-disaster reconstruction will be successful.
On July 13, we paid a special visit to the newly opened animal shelter Life Conservationist Association of Taitung County (LCATC). To express our admiration and support to the shelter’s rescue of stray animals, we contributed TWD 30,000 to help alleviate the shelter’s financial burdens. Ms. Lan of the shelter said,
“This is the only legally licensed halfway home animal shelter in Taitung. In Taitung, there were many stray animals in the past. Due to no implementation of birth control and parasite prevention, the adoption rate was not high. However, we believe that with the establishment of the Life Conservationist Association of Taitung County, and stray animals being vaccinated and becoming healthier, more people would be happy to adopt the animals.”
Our relief team also visited famous choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava. His dance troupe’s rented space was severely damaged by Typhoon Nepartak. With a leaking roof and flooded floor, it could not be used. Considering their upcoming performance in October, external funding was urgently needed in order to maintain the regular operation of the dance company. Therefore, Bulareyaung anxiously posted a plea for help on Facebook. After learning of the difficulties of the dance group, our Association members in Taitung contacted them and contributed TWD 30,000 to help them get through this difficult time. Bulareyaung welcomed our visit, and said that he saw light radiating from our team and The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association orange vests we were wearing. He said, “Wherever this group of people in orange is, there is hope and help.”
On July 13, the first thing we did in the morning was visit Yongkang Village of Yanping Township. Led by the village director Ms. Hu, we visited six homes that had their roofs torn off by the storm. We gave each household TWD 5,000 and a bag of vegan food supplies.
Next, we went to visit Longtain Village of Luye Township, where we comforted members of three of the most affected households together with the village chief Mr. Chen Zhao-yuan. We gave each household TWD 5,000 and a bag of vegan food. Finally, we went to Luye Village. Accompanied by the village chief, we visited four severely damaged homes and gave each household TWD 5,000 and a bag of vegan food.
On July 14, we visited one of our fellow Association members. She has a prolonged illness and was terrified by the typhoon. The roof of her home was torn off. Thus, we gave her some financial assistance and a bag of vegan food.
With the help of the directors of Taitung districts, on July 15 and 16, we were able to visit 33 families and gave each household TWD 5,000, a bag of vegan food supplies, a copy of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace: The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer, and a The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet.
Confronted with this natural catastrophe, the power of climate change has once again shocked us. Such extreme weather has reminded us to make changes. To save ourselves, Mother Earth, and all beings in the world, we pray that all individuals adopt the vegan lifestyle and protect the environment and our animal friends.
View relief video:
Typhoon Nepartak Relief Work in Taitung County, Formosa, July 2016 “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FYHyRMU0Mg&feature=youtu.be“
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Typhoon Nepartak Relief Work in Formosa
|Vegan food supplies (cookies, oat mix, rice, noodles, oil, soy sauce, soy paste and potato chips)||43,430||A-G|
|Monetary contributions to 68 affected households||350,000|
|Monetary contribution to the animal shelter Life Conservationist Association of Taitung County (LCATC)||30,000|
|Monetary contribution to Bulareyaung Dance Company||30,000|
|Total|| TWD 455,470