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Taiwanese donations to quake zone top 780 mln yuan
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The people of Taiwan had pledged or given a total of 780 million yuan (112 million US dollars) as of Wednesday for relief and reconstruction in areas hit by the May 12 earthquake.

The donations came from people in Taiwan and Taiwanese business people on the mainland, said Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, on Friday.

"We are very grateful to the Taiwan compatriots' heart-felt care for the quake victims and their generosity. You can be assured that your aid will be sent to the most needed people and places," he said.

The Taiwan people had also donated 2,000 tons of cement, 100 maritime satellite telephones, 100 tons of tents, sleeping bags and medical supplies, and other relief materials including food, medicine, underwear and bicycles, said Yang.

He said organizations in Taiwan also called or sent letters to the office, expressing condolences and readiness to send rescue teams, medical teams, psychological counselors and geologists to the quake zones.

The Taiwan Red Cross organization sent a rescue team to southwestern Sichuan Province from May 16 to 20 and a medical team, which treated 476 injured people, from May 20 to 25, he said.

The teams contributed greatly, Yang said, adding a Taiwan engineering group arrived in Sichuan on May 27 to help rebuild homes.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Sichuan on May 12 has killed at least 68,516 people, while 365,399 are injured and 19,350 missing.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2008)

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