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Upgrades needed for flood control facilities: premier

2010/09/20 18:08:05

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Premier Wu Den-yih said Monday thatTaiwan's flood control facilities -- some of which are designed basedon 50-year floods while others are designed to withstand 100-yearfloods -- need to be reviewed and upgraded in the face of the currentclimate change.

Typhoon Fanapi brought heavy downpours to the whole countrySunday, especially the southern counties of Pingtung and Kaohsiung,where some places suffered severe flooding.

Flooding to the extent experienced as a result of Fanapi wasexpected to happen just once in 200 years, far exceeding what theexisting flood control facilities are able to deal with, Wu saidwhile visiting an emergency operations center in Taipei.

"Because of severe climate change, all public flood controlfacilities -- no matter whether they are expanded existing ones orcompletely new -- need to be designed with the possibility of suchheavy rainfall in mind, " Wu said.

Wu asked the Environmental Protection Administration, theDepartment of Health and the Ministry of National Defense to helprestore the flooded areas as soon as possible, including clean-up,sanitizing and disease control.

He also instructed the Council of Agriculture to continue tomonitor mudslide-prone areas and to ensure stable prices foragricultural products prior to the Sept. 22 Mid-Autumn Festival.

Later in the day, Wu and President Ma Ying-jeou traveled tosouthern Taiwan to survey the damage caused by the category-3typhoon.

Thousands of people in Kaohsiung County, Nantou County, ChiayiCounty, Taitung County, Hualien County and Pingtung County had to beevacuated to temporary shelters supervised by the military over theweekend.

In Kaohsiung city and county, thousands of homes were severelyflooded. In some cases, water levels were reported at over one-storyhigh, leaving cars and motorcycles completely inundated.

According to the Kaohsiung city government, over 77 boroughs inthe city's 11 administrative districts had reported heavy flooding.

(By Lin Kun-hsu and Fanny Liu)
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