A letter of condolences from Master Cheng Yen to the people of Taiwan

Master Cheng Yen visits disaster areas in Hualien on April 3, 2024, shortly after the earthquake struck. Photo/Tzu Chi Global Headquarters

April 4, 2024 

Dear friends, 

A manifestation of the transience of life and the fragility of land, the sudden yet fierce shallow earthquake shocked everyone!

An earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale occurred off the coast of Hualien, with the maximum intensity reaching magnitude 6.0. The quake caused the Uranus Building in Hualien to tilt dangerously, while many buildings collapsed. Rocks fell, the ground surface ruptured, and the entire road in front of the Daqingshui Tunnel collapsed and fractured, resulting in many casualties. The intense earthquake shook all of Taiwan, and violent shaking also occurred in several parts of the North. Reports of disasters continued to arrive. Search and rescue teams from multiple counties and cities showed mutual love and rushed to Hualien in time to participate in the rescue efforts.

I was deeply worried from the moment the earthquake struck. I paid constant attention to the news and was profoundly concerned. Seeing the panic of those affected and the rescuers’ emergency search and rescue efforts, I empathized with everyone.

Thanks to Tzu Chi Bodhisattvas, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation immediately set up a Strong Earthquake Response Center that closely follows the post-earthquake situation and is ready to initiate assistance anytime. Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital also immediately activated its Medium Emergency Response Mechanism, treating the large influx of injured people. The Dharma masters of the Jing Si Abode immediately prepared hot lunch boxes for distribution in disaster areas. At the Hualien Dexing Baseball Stadium, Chinese Primary School, Huaren Primary School, and other shelters, Tzu Chi provided tents, temporary beds, partitions, eco-blankets, hot food, drinking water, and other daily necessities to care for the disaster-affected and rescue workers.

Evacuation from some residential homes in the greater Taipei area was imperative due to safety concerns. Upon hearing a call to help, Tzu Chi Bodhisattvas in the North immediately prepared lunch boxes and hot meals and went to each shelter hotel to care for the survivors and wish them safety. At the same time, they did not forget to express appreciation for their hard work to all the search and rescue teams, police officers, and firefighters. They also assisted shelters in setting up temporary beds, providing blankets, daily necessities, and other warm care.

In the face of climate change, global warming, and frequent disasters, it is even more critical for everyone to work together to overcome difficulties. The power of nature cannot be underestimated. We are all in the same global village, and we should be cautious and sincere together, cherish all things, protect the environment, and balance ecology with a healthy and vegetarian diet. We look forward to good weather and peace in Heaven and on Earth. Yet blessings can be gathered in the world only when good thoughts remain in people’s hearts. 

I pray that people’s hearts will be purified so that society will be peaceful and the world will be free from disasters! And I sincerely wish everyone happiness and health, and every family peace and prosperity.


Master Cheng Yen
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

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