Taiwan expresses sympathy to US on storm disaster

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou expressed sympathy Oct. 31 to U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez on the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Ma received Sanchez, who is visiting Taiwan to strengthen bilateral economic ties, at the Presidential Office in Taipei City.

Separately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed representative offices in the U.S. to convey the deepest sympathies to the U.S. on behalf of the government and people of the ROC, and to look into all possible means of assistance.

Sandy brought destructive winds and rain to more than 10 northeast U.S. states Oct. 29-30, especially New York and New Jersey, which U.S. President Barack Obama has declared major disaster areas, resulting in deaths, loss of power and water supplies, and disruption of telephone, mass transit and airline services. Rescue and reconstruction efforts by federal and state government agencies are under way across the region.

Taiwan expatriates and students in affected areas have all been reported safe so far, according to the MOFA. In New York City some students had to leave flooded dormitories, but had found refuge with friends.

The ministry reminded people planning to travel to the region in the near future to take extra precautions and to contact an ROC representative office in case of emergency.