- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The people in Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese are grateful for the assistance detailed in your article “U.S. plane delivers typhoon relief” (World, Monday).

The aftermath of Typhoon Morakot has been difficult, and although the government’s rescue operations were initiated quickly, progress has been impeded by continued heavy rainfall. Accessing the affected people and areas has proved problematic. The government has taken rescue and relief very seriously and responded as swiftly as possible, undaunted by the prohibitive situation. With a firm response to the disaster, the entire nation continues to work toward reconstructing what has been damaged and destroyed.

Over the past week, nearly all citizens of Taiwan have volunteered to assist in reconstruction in various ways. Students of police academies have been encouraged to assist the rescue-and-relief forces, and post-disaster reconstruction commissions are being organized. In addition, there are plans for subsidies for the reconstruction of agriculture, the expedited restoration of communications and transportation, and increasing the effectiveness of preventative measures such as reviewing weather surveillance, updating weather and disaster-response equipment, and increasing standards for dikes and levees.

As the people and government in Taiwan work hard to alleviate the suffering caused by the typhoon, the timely assistance from the international community is welcome. The United States, Australia, members of the European Union, Singapore and Japan are among the 60 nations that have expressed their concern for and support of Taiwan in this difficult time. The people of Taiwan will take heart in the knowledge that they have so many supportive friends around the world.

PHILIP SHIH

North Potomac

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