Earthquake Joins Relief Efforts in Peru
On 15 August, 2007, a deadly earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck Southern Peru, it followed with an aftershock of 5.7 in magnitude hitting the same region on 19 August. Within the next five days after the initial earthquake struck Peru, over 500 aftershocks were felt. The disaster has claimed over 500 lives, injuring more than 1,600 people and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.
Pisco Province was the worst hit with 70 percent of houses destroyed by the powerful earthquake. The province's transportation and communication network are still down making relief efforts harder.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen responded to the disaster by immediately instructing Dharma Drum Social Welfare and Charity Foundation to mobilize a team of volunteers to provide humanitarian assistance in the affected regions of Peru.
With much help from Mr. Wenchun Li, Mr. Hsinhsiung Chen and Mr. Zhiqian Chen, Taiwanese entrepreneurs living in Peru, essential relief items such as food, medication and tents were able to be set up locally in advance.
Dharma Drum Mountain's relief team, including Mr. Haotso Lee, Ms. Yunsan Chen and Mr. Jongbin Yen left for Peru on evening of 20 August, bringing with them two letters of condolences written by Venerable Master Sheng Yen and Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong.
Earlier that day, a meeting held at Yunlai Monastery in Beitou, Vice Executive Officer of DDM Administration Department Venerable Guo Guang thanked the volunteers for their selfless contribution and blessed them for their safety upon embarking on this humanitarian work in Peru on behalf of DDM.
The President of DDM General Association of Dharma Upholders Mr. Chen Jianan reminded the volunteers that the success in accomplishing this mission lies in ensuring their very own safety while in Peru, as the situation remains disordered and unstable.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen once said that the Bodhisattva is there whenever and wherever one calls. In Taiwan, DDM's Nung Chan Monastery blessed the disaster victims for peace by holding a Liang Huan Repentance Ceremony (Puja Ceremony). Apart from this, Dharma Drum Mountain has begun fundraising campaigns for the cause.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)