Facebook donates NT$10 million to Hualien quake relief fund

Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) Facebook on Friday pledged a donation of NT$10 million (US$340,136) to the earthquake relief efforts in Taiwan, joining a growing list of corporate donors offering aid in the wake of the deadly quake in Hualien earlier in the week.

Fei Yu (???), head of Facebook's operations in Taiwan and Hong Kong, said the American social media and networking company will give NT$10 million to support the Taiwan government's efforts to rehabilitate the victims of the Hualien quake.

The money will be deposited to a relief fund set up by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Yu said, adding that she hopes Facebook users will use the networking service to offer assistance to the victims of the Hualien quake.

In a press release in Taiwan on Friday, the American company said a Facebook page has been set up for people in Hualien to check in and report on their situation in the aftermath of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake, which killed at least 10 people and left hundreds injured.

Using the Hualien earthquake page, a gym operator in Hualien City has been able offer displaced people temporary shelter at its various locations, Facebook said.

Several bed and breakfast establishments have also been posting information on the page about free rooms available for displaced persons, Facebook said.

Meanwhile, Japan Yahoo Corp. has launched an online fundraising effort for Hualien earthquake aid, raising about 69 million Japanese yen (US$633,028) from 81,225 Japan-based donors as of 4 p.m. Friday, according to the company's website.

Some of the donors said they wished to thank Taiwan for its help and generosity in the aftermath of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in March 2011.

The fundraising will continue for another 20 days, Yahoo Japan said.

Also in Japan, LINE Pay, a digital wallet service provided by LINE Corp, said Friday it has set up mobile payment platform to raise funds for the Hualien quake relief effort.

The minimum donation is 300 yen, the company said, adding that the fund raising campaign will run from Feb. 9-18.

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Hualien close to midnight Tuesday, leaving at least 12 people dead, 277 injured, and five missing.

The quake also toppled several buildings, including a hotel in downtown Hualien City, and caused widespread infrastructure damage in the eastern county.

Source: Focus Taiwan