Typhoon and Tropical Storm Morakot Report from the Presbyterian Church in TaiwanWritten by The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
August 14, 2009
Following news reports in the international media the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) received several messages from overseas concerning the typhoon and tropical storm Morakot that struck Taiwan the weekend 7-10 August 2009.
Please know the PCT is very grateful for your expressions of concern and in turn wish to give you a brief update. Basically the typhoon itself proved to be quite minimal compared to what Taiwan normally experiences, and it was soon downgraded to a tropical storm but torrential rains came in its wake Saturday and Sunday.
The initial reports and investigations indicate the South of the country incurred most damage, in particular Taitung and Pingtung counties. As we know some areas had their equivalent of one year rainfall in two days and the worst flooding recorded in 50 years in Taiwan.
At the present time, under such critical conditions and until the water level decreases, it is very difficult to fully assess the true and total picture as to extent of loss of life, or damage to the land and property. Broken roads and collapsed bridges not to mention electricity cuts and telephone lines damaged are hampering communication and the assessment process. From what PCT staff have witnessed and based on the media reports there are bound to be villages swept away. It is really devastating - the clean up will be horrendous and it will be necessary to monitor and control any infections that could arise from dirty water, debris, dead animals and so on.
The PCT General Assembly is already active and involved in the national disaster response relief and rescue work doing their part as best as they can. We are coordinating with our numerous Presbyteries setting up relief centers, phone help lines, dropping stations for donations in kind and money. Some of you have expressed concern for PCT churches, again, it is premature to evaluate the loss of lives or the extent of damage to our church members' homes and church property but as PCT local congregations are in many communities all over Taiwan this is inevitable. Information will be released in time.
On behalf of the PCT and the people of Taiwan we express our deep appreciation for your concern and ask that you hold the victims of this major disaster in your prayers as well as those involved in the daunting task of rescue and relief in the weeks to come.
Rev. Lin Tsung-Jeng (Leonard)
PCT Moderator, 54th General Assembly
Rev. Chang Te-Chien (Andrew)
PCT General Secretary
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