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Taiwan donates money to help rebuild quake-affected zone in India

2012/04/14 20:15:46

New Delhi, April 13 (CNA) Taiwan donated NT$1.44 million (US$48,722.40) to a Rotary Club in India Friday to help rebuild Sikkim State, which was devastated last year by an earthquake.

On September 18, 2011, the Indian state nestled in the Himalayas was hit by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake centered 68 kilometers northwest of the state capital of Gangtok, near the border of Nepal. The quakeclaimed 74 lives and toppled 4,000 homes while damaging another 100,000.

Philip Ong, Taiwan's representative to India, donated the NT$1.44 million check to Rotary Club of Gangtok South head Rimp Dorjee at Taiwan's representative office in New Delhi. The money has been designated to be used for disaster reconstruction.

The Taiwanese representative said that by working through the club, reconstruction plans could be carried out more efficiently.

Ong said Taiwan would continue to offer relief whenever the need existed around the globe, because providing humanitarian assistance has been a government policy for a very long time.

After the quake occurred last year, Taiwan's government expressed the willingness to help the disaster stricken state, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs later deciding to donate the money, Ong added.

Dorjee thanked Taiwan for providing aid and said the money will be invested in the reconstruction of schools, temples, houses, quake victims health, social benefits, and quake prevention training.

Although six months have passed since the earthquake struck, reopening roads and gaining access to water resources remain the most pressing issues in the disaster area, said Dorjee, who is a civil engineer in Gangtok.

He said the schedule for working on reconstruction projects will be tight because the monsoon season in the state is fast approaching and will likely cause landslides that cut off roads and delay work, but he expected the projects to be completed within a year.

(By Ho Horn-ru and C.J. Lin)