Taiwan said yesterday it was in close contact with Philippine authorities to offer humanitarian assistance after Typhoon Ketsana wreaked havoc on the Philippine capital on Saturday.
The Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO) yesterday appealed to the Taiwanese public to help the victims by donating cash and other necessities.
Heavy rainfall brought floods to Metro Manila and 25 nearby provinces on Saturday. The latest figures show the death toll has exceeded 240, with 37 people reported missing, MECO said.
In a press release, MECO said the Philippine government appealed to the international humanitarian community for assistance to cope with its worst flooding in decades.
MECO Resident Representative Antonio Basilio said the office was asking the public for donations in cash or in kind to alleviate victims' misery and help them start the process of rebuilding their lives.
Forwarding company LBC has offered to donate and ship for free within the next three weeks an unlimited number of mega-sized boxes for MECO. The first round of donations will be shipped next Tuesday, the statement said.
Information is available from MECO-Taipei at (02) 2508-1719, MECO-Taichung at (04) 2302-3020 and MECO-Kaohsiung at (07) 398-5935.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said Taiwan was closely monitoring the situation and pledged to provide more needed assistance in the coming days.
Chen said the ministry was also watching typhoon developments in Vietnam as Ketsana continued to unleash its wrath across Southeast Asia.
The pain of natural disaster is freshly imprinted in the minds of the Taiwanese after Typhoon Morakot killed at least 700 people in early August. Allies and non-allies alike rallied around the country, pouring more than NT$380 million (US$11.9 million) in cash among other forms of relief.
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