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Taiwan, U.S. exploring ways to cooperate for Nepal quake victims

Taiwan, U.S. exploring ways to cooperate for Nepal quake victims

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) The United States and Taiwan are exploring ways in which they can cooperate to assist survivors in the wake of a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated large areas of the Himalayan country and killed thousands, after Taiwan made a request in this regard, officials said Thursday. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) "is aware of Taiwan's interest and willingness to provide disaster relief and assistance to Nepal," Joseph Bookbinder, an AIT spokesman, told CNA. "We are exploring ways in which we could cooperate to assist the earthquake victims." The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties. Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a report presented to Premier Mao Chi-kuo (???) during a Cabinet meeting that it has made a request to the AIT's Taipei office for cooperation with the U.S. in shipping relief supplies to Nepal. The magnitude-7.8 earthquake, the worst to strike Nepal since 1934, occurred approximately 80 kilometers to the northwest of the country's capital of Kathmandu April 25, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and severely affected rural areas across the region. The death toll has surpassed 5,000 and more than 10,000 have been injured, foreign media reported. As international aid has been flowing into Nepal in the wake of the earthquake, rescue and medical teams from the Taiwan International Health Action, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Taiwan's Red Cross Society, the Buddha's Light International Association, the International Headquarters Search and Rescue (SAR) and Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, have arrived in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the Foreign Ministry said. Two more teams organized by Taiwanese charity groups are preparing to join the relief efforts later this week, the ministry added. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has donated US$300,000 to Nepal, while the Ministry of Health and Welfare has set up three accounts to accept donations from the public. The first batch of relief supplies was shipped from Taiwan April 28, and the government is exploring the possibility of shipping more supplies via chartered planes operated by DHL and FedEX, the ministry said. The ministry also has information available on its website on the designated collection point where the public can go to donate relief supplies. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-26 18:55 GMT+08:00