- Title: TAIWAN: International aid heads for flood-hit Taiwan
- Date: 17th August 2009
- Summary: TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AUGUST 16, 2009) (REUTERS) CENTRAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTRE OFFICER IN COMMAND, TRANSPORT MINISTER MAO CHI-KUO AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE MAO CHI-KUO IN FRONT OF JOURNALISTS JOURNALISTS MAO CHI-KUO AND OTHER OFFICIALS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin)CENTRAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTRE OFFICER IN COMMAND, TRANSPORT MINISTER MAO CHI-KUO SAYING: "We are still waiting for the U.S. to tell us when the helicopters will arrive, and we are planning for the use of these. We will likely to receive two helicopters capable to lift at least 10 tonnes." JOURNALISTS A PANEL OF SPEAKERS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin)CENTRAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTRE OFFICER IN COMMAND, TRANSPORT MINISTER MAO CHI-KUO SAYING: "We welcome help from China. In fact we are already discussing a plan through the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits to supply us with combination houses." MAO MAKING PRESENTATION JOURNALISTS MAO STANDING UP FROM THE NEWS CONFERENCE VARIOUS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WORKING IN THE CENTRAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTRE
- Embargoed: 1st September 2009 13:00
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVADXLUGWOBIPTRGLLJ76DSO647M
- Story Text: The first U.S. military plane for three decades has touched down in Taiwan as more than 60 nations provide aid for victims of typhoon-triggered floods that rescue workers fear have killed hundreds.
Major supplies of foreign aid supplies arrived in Taiwan on Sunday (August 16), a week after the worst floods in 50 years killed more than hundred people in the south of the island.
The official death toll from Taiwan's worst floods in about 50 years stands at 124, though the final figure may be much higher.
The floods were caused by Typhoon Morakot which dumped several metres of rain on southern Taiwan, and triggering landslides that flattened and buried villages in mud.
So far, over 60 countries have donated around 68 million Taiwanese dollars (two million U.S. dollars) in cash as well as other relief supplies, the foreign ministry said.
The United States and China have offered to provide helicopters capable of transporting heavy weights to help in clean up operations.
"We are still waiting for the U.S. to tell us when the helicopters will arrive, and we are planning for the use of these. We will likely to receive two helicopters capable of lifting at least 10 tonnes," Transport Minister Mao Chi-kuo told reporters.
Taiwan is considering whether to accept the offer from China, its political rival.
"We welcome help from China. In fact we are already discussing a plan through the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits to supply us with combination houses," Mao added.
Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation said over the weekend its Chinese counterpart was willing to donate building material, such as pre-fabrication homes.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou visited disaster-hit areas over the weekend.
He issued an apology for the government's slow response in rescue operations.
"I am the president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am in charge of the safety of the entire nation. When something happens to our nation, no matter good or bad, I am fully responsible. Our rescue workers have really worked hard," Ma said.
A U.S. C130 cargo aircraft carrying huge cargoes of building material flew into Tainan in Taiwan's south from its air base in Okinawa, Japan.
It was the first U.S. military plane to land in the island since diplomatic ties were broken about 30 years ago.
Australia donated disinfecting equipment, days after Singapore and Israel sent medical supplies, water purification systems and food to aid Taiwan, where thousands are still stuck in the south due to mudslides and disruptions to land transport.
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