A group of Taiwanese businessmen on Friday delivered food and water to areas of Vietnam that have been hard hit by recent floods, a member of the group told the Inside Out on Sunday.
Since the start of October, back-to-back tropical storms have brought heavy rain to central Vietnam, resulting in one of the worst floods the Southeast Asian country has seen in decades.
At least 119 people have been confirmed dead and tens of thousands have been displaced, according to local media reports.
With another tropical storm set to make landfall in Vietnam soon, the Ha Tinh branch of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam decided to take advantage of the brief lull in rainfall over the past few days to deliver supplies, Yeh Fu-kuo (葉富國), the group’s vice president, told Inside Out on Sunday.
The group delivered rice, instant noodles and water to a mountainous region in the province of Ha Tinh using five cars and traveling over 130 kilometers to get to their destination, Yeh said.
Multiple sections of the road were blocked due to landslides, with local authorities only able to salvage one lane for aid workers to pass, Yeh said.
When they arrived, Yeh said the villagers told the group that they had not been able to venture out for 10 days and had been relying on outside aid for food and water.
Although many international NGOs have stepped in to help, the villagers worried that the distribution of resources would be uneven, Yeh said, so their group made a list of names to ensure that every household would get its fair share.
In addition to the supplies delivered to Ha Tinh, the group also delivered similar supplies to the province of Quang Binh, Yeh said.
As another storm approaches, Yeh said the priority at the moment needed to be on rebuilding roads. He said he planned to rally more Taiwanese businesspeople in Vietnam to help with the situation after he reports the damage his group witnessed to local authorities.
Taiwan has donated US$400,000 in disaster relief funds to Vietnam, while South Korea has donated US$300,000 and the United States US$100,000, according to media reports.
By Shine Chen and Chiang Yi-ching/ CNA/Editing by Inside Out