Taiwan president offers aid to Philippines after 3 typhoons ravage country
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday (Nov. 13) offered to provide aid to the Philippines after it was struck by three typhoons within a month, and local Filipino groups are calling for donations.
In late October, Typhoon Molave (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Quinta) killed 27 and injured 40, inflicting US$87.1 million in damages nationwide, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Then, early in November, Typhoon Goni (known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Rolly) hit the island of Luzon, killing 17 people, impacting 2 million, and inflicting US$369 million in damages, according to the NDRRMC.
Last week, Typhoon Vamco (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ulysses) struck the country, bringing torrential rains that caused rivers to overflow and dams across Luzon to reach their spilling points. The authorities were forced to open all seven gates of Magat Dam, engorging the Cagayan River and leading to extensive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela.
As of Sunday, the death toll from Typhoon Vamco is 53, with 22 missing and 52 injured, according to the Philippines police and army. The NDRRMC said flooding and landslides have caused US$24.7 million in damage to infrastructure alone.
In a tweet posted on Friday (Nov. 13), Tsai described the devastation from the typhoons in the Philippines as "heartbreaking." She wrote that her "thoughts are with everyone" affected by the disasters there.
She then stated that "Taiwan wishes you strength" and pledged her country would offer assistance. The tweet has since gained 11,000 likes, 1,307 retweets, and 280 comments, mainly from Filipinos thanking Tsai for offering aid.
Meanwhile, local Philippine organizations in Taiwan are calling for donations of cash, clothes, or dried goods to donate to victims of the disasters. Thus far, the Confederation of Ilocano Association, Inc. (CIASI) has raised NT$8,050 (US$282.45) in cash donations, and "Good Boys in Taiwan" has raised NT$15,000 in cash to purchase relief supplies, reported CNA.