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Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Taiwan's Buddhists mourn

The giant statue of the Buddha leans over the rubble at the Wan-Fo temple complex in central Taiwan, which was among the buildings and monuments devastated by this week's powerful earthquake. "Buddha wants us to do better, or worse will come," said Master Chang-tai.

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An elderly homeless woman takes shelter at the Wan-Fo complex with her family and a few meagre belongings. Buddhist monks and nuns have come to the help of earthquake victims and their families with supplies and spiritual support.

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Nuns from the complex organise and display a list of the dead found in the rubble. "Buddha made hell on earth, but he kept us alive and afterwards there was enlightenment," said one nun, Yen-lui.

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Family members join in prayers for the dead during a funeral at Taichung, central Taiwan.

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Buddhist ceremonies have been seen the length and breadth of the island as communities mourned loved ones and reach out a supportive hand to neighbours.

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