Monday, April 19, 2010

Taiwan Rescue Team Admitted Into Tibetan Earthquake Zone

In an abrupt and surprising reversal of their earlier refusal, China yesterday admitted a 20-member medical team organized by the ROC Red Cross Society. For those unfamiliar with the operational environment, this represents a political decision, rather than an indication of dire need -- although the need is dire.

The team flew into Xining’s Caojiapu Airport accompanied by one metric ton of medicine and equipment. “We tried to send more supplies but there was not sufficient airlift capacity in the disaster area,” an RCS spokesman said.

Led by Dr. Victor Chang, president of Taoyuan County-based Landseed Hospital, the team comprises medical personnel from Taipei City Hospital, Tainan City’s National Cheng Kung University Hospital and the RCS.

Based at Xining’s No. 1 People’s Hospital, the team will work alongside mainland doctors for one week in treating survivors of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that left over 1,700 dead and 12,000 injured.

According to the RCS, many of the volunteers have extensive experience with first aid and emergency procedures in earthquake and flooding rescue missions.

“Some of our team participated in relief efforts following the earthquake that hit mainland China’s southwestern Sichuan province in May 2008,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, mainland China’s Red Cross Society expressed gratitude for the efforts of its cross-strait counterpart and said the Taiwan team would receive “all possible support and assistance” in performing its mission. Official mainland Chinese statistics put the earthquake’s death toll at 1,706, with 256 missing and 12,128 injured. These numbers are expected to rise further as search and rescue efforts are ramped up in the days ahead. [Taiwan Today and other sources]
 Note: We are continuously updating links to earthquake coverage at our consolidation page, here.

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1 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

The Taiwan team has the medical expertise, and can communicate with their Chinese counterparts (language and cultural)better than other foreign support groups.

Special kudos to the Taiwanese medical team!