Locals offer support to MH370 families

When relatives of those lost in the MH370 disaster make the heartbreaking trip to Perth, local people will be ready to embrace them.

The hotel industry is looking at ways to manage the expected influx and the local Chinese community is preparing to offer translation services, food and emotional support.

Of the 239 passengers and crew, 153 were Chinese and Chung Wah Association of WA president Sammy Yap said their families faced a daunting and foreign experience in Perth.

"We will offer up our centre in Northbridge as a place to rest, to find a shoulder to lean on," he said.

"I imagine most of them would not have been to Australia.

"The biggest support we can provide is emotional support and help with the culture and translators."

Mr Yap said he had been inundated with offers of help.

On Sunday, the Buddha's Light International Association of WA will hold annual prayer service Qing Ming Dharma to commemorate deceased family members.

Spokeswoman Grace Collins said relatives of MH370 victims would be welcome at the service at Fo Guang Shan Temple in Maylands.

"We are happy to welcome families if they require a place of sanctuary for them to pray and offer blessings to their family," she said.

Mr Yap said he expected some relatives would want to come to Perth to be closer to the search effort and access to first-hand information.

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said the AHA was tracking bookings in Perth's hotels for the next 30 days in preparation for the arrival of the families.

The West Australian

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