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Heartwarming Stories of Wounded Hearts

Posted September. 06, 2002 15:25,   


The sense of community is budding in devastated areas, where there is neither drinking water nor electricity, lightening the pain caused by the catastrophe.

A public bathroom in Gangreung is providing underground water to residents. The bathroom even lacks the water for customers, but the owner put the convenience of neighbors before his own interest.

A wide range of factories and stores, which have their own system to bring up underground water, are participating in this move to help the dislocated.

A motel in Samchuk, Gangwon Province opened its sauna facility for one day free of charge. Another hotel in Samchuk is providing drinking water for residents in the neighboring area.

About 3,000 volunteers have come to a volunteers` center in Gangreung to participate in the restoration work. A man in his 30s from Busan visited the center in the morning Sep 4, and said he wanted to help those hit hard.

This man, who never identified himself, just said that he would work as a volunteer for a month. He is now distributing aid goods at a heliport.

A number of people are coming to the isolated areas to help the people who were deprived of their home.

A university student identified himself as just Lee came alone to a volunteers` center in Gimchun on the 4th and asked to send him to the area hit hardest. He brought food and clothes for a week with him. Before leaving for the hardest hit area as he wanted, he said, "I can keep up with classes later on, but restoration work should be done immediately.

The Gimchun volunteers` center is receiving a number of calls from individuals and groups that want to give helping hands. A female office worker in her 20s from Seoul said she wanted to work for the dislocated for the next week. A housewife in her 40s from Daegu also asked the center to give her an opportunity to help the dislocated.

Mun Jung-hwa, 24, who works at the Gimchun volunteers` center, said, "If you want to participate quickly in the voluntary work for the dislocated, you have to bring gloves, rubber boots, shovel and food with you."

Lee Chun-sik, 47, who runs a mil in Gimchun donated 20 bags of rice for the dislocated. He said, "It was an unimaginable disaster, but we should put together our strength and wisdom to overcome this hardship."

Daeduk-myeon and Buhan-myeon, 30 km away from downtown Gimchun have been isolated for 5 days without electricity or telephone connection. But 5,000 residents are sharing rice and candles and encouraging each other to endure this tough situation.

Jonathan Benthemyrer (32) who works as an instructor at a language institute participated in the voluntary work. He said, "I have lived in Gimchun for 4 years because I love the hospitality shown by the people here. I feel so sad watching them suffering damage by the typhoon. I wanted to help them to repay the kindness people here have showed me."

About 1,000 employees of the Samsung Group have been working for the dislocated in Gimchun, Gimhae and Yeongdong starting from the 4th. 50 street vendors in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province delivered aide goods and cleaned up inundated houses in Gangreung between Sep 3 and Sept 4.