2008-2009

Post disaster cleanup much to be desired

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Typhoon Morakot left a trail of devastation behind. Debris, garbage and corpses laid scattered, waiting for post disaster cleanup, the area was in urgent need of disease protection and quarantine. In response to widespread concern over the post disaster cleanup effort, the Control Yuan launched a special investigating into the aftermath of typhoon Morakot. (Case no. 0980800881)
In 2008, the Control Yuan addressed the issue of post-disaster relief measure and proposed corrective measures to the responsible government agencies after Typhoon Kalmaegi, a relatively light storm that swept over northeast Taiwan. One year later, Taiwan was hit by Typhoon Morakot and endured catastrophic consequences. It was clear that the government did not learn its lesson and repeated the same mistake. Control Yuan members formed an investigation team to look into the infrastructure, disaster prevention, relief system and restoration in the wake of Typhoon Morakot. While a number of agencies were recognized for their positive contribution to the post-disaster works: the Department of Health (now the Ministry of Health and Welfare) implemented control and quarantine measures; the Construction and Planning Agency, the Environmental Protection Administration and the army were quick to remove mud and debris; the Chiayi County Government was successful in educating the locals about proper emergency response and conducted emergency exercise on a regular basis, resulting in relatively less losses, there remained rooms for improvement in coordination and division of labor, river management, bridge and road maintenance, and lack of disaster relief planning and regular emergency exercises. As for fresh water supplies, the Taiwan Water Corporation had, prior to the disaster, put in place facilities with capacity to pump 1 million tons of water per day. The pump can withdraw cleaner surface water for treatment as a way to sustain fresh water supply in the aftermath of typhoons when put into operation.
Subsequent to the investigation, the Control Yuan issued official letters requesting the responsible agencies to step up their effort in providing comprehensive planning for water development and improving allocation and management of water resources.