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Tainan helps Taitung with clean-up and repair after Typhoon Nepartak

Tainan has sent more than 90 personnel with around 80 vehicles and heavy equipment to help clear up the destruction in Taitung caused by Typhoon Nepartak. The super typhoon, which made landfall over Taimali in the early hours of July 8, caused extensive damage across Taitung with gusts of up to 205 km/h.

Work crews organized by Tainan City Government’s Water Resources Bureau, Environmental Protection Bureau and Public Works Bureau arrived in Taitung at noon on July 10, bringing grab trucks, shovel loaders, cranes, backhoes, chainsaws and other clean-up equipment.

Addressing the crews in front of Tainan City Hall before their departure, Mayor William Lai remarked that, with memory of the strong earthquake that struck their city on February 6 this year still fresh in mind, Tainan’s residents could closely empathize with the people in Taitung. Remembering how much help it had received from all over Taiwan, and even overseas, in the wake of that disaster, Tainan was glad to be able to offer a helping hand to Taitung in its time of need.

Mayor Lai also personally donated one month’s salary, about NT$200,000, to support Taitung’s recovery from the typhoon. He expressed the hope that others in Tainan would give generously to this cause. “Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the needy, and rally round to help Taitung County,” he said.

As soon as the Tainan work crews arrived in Taitung, they set to work clearing fallen trees, broken corrugated sheeting and other debris at 35 schools and other sites. With bad weather forecast to follow the typhoon, they needed to race against time to complete their tasks as soon as possible. Working into the night, they cleared away more than 100 truckloads of debris within a day of their arrival. Commenting on how well their efforts were appreciated by people in Taitung, Mayor Lai expressed his highest gratitude for their hard work.    

In Tainan itself, the City Government made thorough preparations for the onslaught of the typhoon. On the day before its arrival, Mayor Lai made an inspection tour of flood-prone and evacuation areas. Emphasizing how important it is for the general public to cooperate with the government in reducing typhoon damage, Mayor Lai remarked: “Without such cooperation, our flood management infrastructure will be much less effective.”

Residents in Dongshan District’s Gaoyuan Village, which is prone to debris flow, were evacuated ahead of the typhoon and lodged in a hotel at a nearby golf course during the storm. While the villagers were unwilling to leave their homes during previous typhoons, they were quite satisfied with the City Government’s arrangements for their accommodation this time. “We hope this good model of cooperation will continue,” Lai said when visiting the evacuees during the typhoon.

Although Typhoon Nepartak did not cause any major damage in Tainan, it did cause brief flooding on some sections of road in the Rende, Annan and Yongkang Districts. As it prepared assistance for Taitung, the City Government also announced new flood-prevention measures for these and other flood-prone roads.

The City Government said flood control projects in the above districts have entered the second phase. In recent years, the central and local governments have worked jointly to prevent flooding in Tainan by implementing many embankment, river dredging, flood detention, storm drain, flood diversion, pumping station, and other engineering projects. “These diverse projects, designed according to the features of flood-prone areas, will reduce flooding on roads and provide a safer living environment,” stated the City Government.

In addition to carrying out such public works projects, the City Government also strongly encourages the formation of voluntary disaster-prevention communities. Currently, 31 of these communities have been organized in 20 of Tainan’s districts. Praising the valuable role played by these voluntary arrangements, the City Government stresses that promoting disaster prevention education in the daily lives of the general public will create a sense of unity among neighbors as they work together to prevent disasters.