|Mainland makes massive efforts to help Taiwan with typhoon relief (08/14/09)|
BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland will make an all-out effort to provide relief to victims of the worst typhoon to hit Taiwan in nearly half a century, Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said here Friday.
The mainland has donated millions of yuan to the island and is preparing to send rescue and health care teams as well as relief supplies, according to an official with the office.
"People from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan share the same roots and blood. Any disaster in Taiwan will make the mainland feel as though it has suffered, too," the official said.
Typhoon Morakot had killed at least 117 people as of 10 a.m. Friday, China News Service quoted local authorities as saying. But Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said Friday the death toll could reach 500 with about 380 more victims in Kaohsiung's Hsiaolin village.
Morakot also left at least 59 people missing and 45 injured, devastating some central and southern parts of the island.
The office was collecting relief supplies for the island and would like to give any support in necessity, the official said.
Local media reported that helicopters, disinfectants, sanitizing machines, shelters and instant food were among the urgent needs.
Mainland Red Cross organizations, leagues of banks, Buddhist associations and large companies have allocated thousands of millions of yuan to help relieve the disaster, the official said.
Member companies of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) donated more than 100 million yuan (14.6 million U.S. dollars) and 5 million HK dollars (645,000 U.S. dollars).
The mainland's Red Cross Society offered 15 million yuan (2.2 million U.S. dollars) to the island's Red Cross organization, and the mainland's Buddhist Association allocated 5 million yuan (732,000 U.S. dollars).
The China Southern Airlines, the China Eastern Airlines, and the Fujian Provincial Red Cross, the China Union Pay and the China Disabled Persons Federation each donated 1 million yuan (146,000 U.S. dollars).
"Last year when the May 12 earthquake jolted Sichuan, our compatriots in Taiwan offered enormous disaster relief, and now we are doing the same thing. People across the Straits have strong connections and support each other during tough times," the official said.