A Taiwanese Buddhist organization is helping Chilean communities struck by an earthquake in February by providing blankets and other supplies to the victims. The foundation has helped people affected by natural disasters in more than 70 countries.
Dozens of Taiwanese volunteers arrived in quake stricken Chile on Sunday to deliver thousands of blankets, tarps and food to victims of the February earthquake.
Cleanup work is still underway in the town of Lota, south of the capital of Santiago, as damaged homes are being rebuilt or scrapped.
Many residents flocked to a local school to receive supplies.
[Irene Sanchez, Quake Victim]: (Spanish)
"This is great for us because we have been in bad shape since the earthquake we had, but thank God this blessing has come.”
[Claudia Marin, Quake Victim]: (Spanish)
"This is huge and with the ceremony they do to give thanks and ask God for blessings. It is beautiful. And that they have come to such a far away country to support us and help us and to know a bit about our culture… it is fantastic.”
The Buddhist NGO Tzu Chi has already sent thousands of blankets and other supplies to damaged cities such as Cobquecura (cob-kay-cura) and Caleta Tumbes (cah ley ta toom bays).
In addition the Taiwanese government had sent some 200-thousand U.S. dollars to help rebuild Chile's Biobio (bee-oh bee-oh) region.
The director of the organization says the group will be providing supplies for various Chilean communities.
[Stephen Huang, Global Volunteer Director, Tzu Chi]: (male, Mandarin)
"Our foundation is very concerned about the harm caused to people due to natural disasters. We have helped in more than 70 countries. We were working in Haiti and we heard about the problems with the earthquake in Chile and we came straight here."
In a sign of unity, many residents joined the volunteers in a religious ceremony.