|Taiwan||CHURCH QUICK TO RESPOND TO FATAL EARTHQUAKE|
The Catholic Church has responded swiftly to provide relief to victims of the most serious earthquake to strike Taiwan this century.
With the death toll approaching 2000, the earthquake injured more than 4000 people and destroyed more than 100,000 buildings throughout the island.
The Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference in Taiwan (CRBC) announced that Catholic churches, schools and institutes in the afflicted area would be opened to shelter earthquake victims.
While Taichung Caritas in hardest-hit Taichung, central Taiwan, will participate in relief work, the Taiwan Catholic Mission Foundation and Caritas Taiwan will run a donation campaign, the bishops said in their statement.
All the bishops are safe as they were in Taipei for a scheduled meeting when the earthquake took place, but many of them do not know of the situation in their dioceses.
Bishops Conference secretary-general Fr John Baptist Wu Chung-yuan, said: "At the moment, we only know that a rural church in Chiayi diocese has collapsed and we have not received any report on causalities as all telecommunication lines in Taichung and Nantou has completely broken down."
UCAN 12:16pm 23/9/99