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Typhoon in Taiwan

Dear Fr. General:

Thanks for your [...] great concern for the situation of our people in Chiayi due to the typhoon.

Now an updated report written by Fr. Brian Lawless who was in Chiayi during the typhoon. His report includes now the situation of our confreres.

In Fenchihu we have Fr. Wad Madeja (who few weeks ago had been bitten by a snake, but is OK now), with two SSpS Sisters: Clemens and Edmara. The report does not say explicitly if the sisters were there, but for the wording it seems that the three of them were in Fenchihu during the typhoon, so now they are cut off from the rest of the country.

This mission suffered the most, since two of our employees were affected. The house of one, in Fenchihu itself, was wiped out. The worst case is the family of Lin Meiling (whom I baptized in year 2000), the cleaning lady at the Activity Center who lives in Fenchihu because her husband is from our village, but she comes from a village in Pingtong (100 km south of Chiayi) where many people died, including three of her close relatives.

Our missionaries among the Tsou Tribe, Frs. Daisulke in the main station of Tefuyeh and Piotr Budkiewicz in the mission station of Xinmei, are isolated as well. In Alishan we have a young couple taking care of the place. They are doing the job that Bro. Raphael Fanjiang did for 20 years, who is now retired living in Beijing.

Probably in few days the situation will improved, because the Taiwanese government is usually very efficient. Let's keep the deceased and their relatives in our prayers. Thanks for your support.

Sergio Edwards SVD

From: Brian Lawless
To: "Sergio Edwards Velasco"
Date: Tuesday,. 11 August, 2009, 2:13 PM

News update from Chiayi

Some sad news from Chaiyi. Our gardener, Mr Deng along with his elderly mother were buried in a mountain landslide which covered their house in the mountains. Thankfully the bodies were found so the family can have some closure on the case. This morning we accompanied some family members to the morgue to identify the bodies.

There is no news of the Father, sister and brother in law of Lin Mefli, one of our employees in Fenchihu. They lived in one of the mountain villages in Pingdong which was hit by a mudslide. Another employee, Yang Youlan lost his house in Fenchihu. Luckily no one was in it when it was swept away.

Fenchihu is completely cut off from the outside world, with no electricity. Everyone there is safe, but all the meat in the fridge is spoiled. It may be a while before they can get out. The roads were swept away completely.

Alishan is also cut off, but that road should be open again in a few days time. One Canadian guest is stuck in our guesthouse. He really wanted to see Alishan. Now he regrets not listening to those who told him to go back down before the typhoon.

Daisuke is marooned in Tefuyeh and Piotr is morooned in Xinmei, both because of bridges swept away.

We were very lucky here in Chiayi because the new municipal drainage system was opened earlier this year. This made a huge difference as the water can now drain out of the compound instead of draining into it. So apart from a few puddles under the windows, we escaped relatively unscathed.

That's the news for the present.

Brian Lawless