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United Daily News: Reconstruction top priority for Kaohsiung

2014/08/10 19:06:24

It has been 10 days since a series of deadly gas explosions occurred in the southern port city of Kaohsiung. Now that the Executive Yuan has agreed to provide a NT$1.6 billion (US$53.33 million) funding for reconstruction work, the Kaohsiung City government should soon begin efforts to rebuild the affected areas, repave the roads, and restore pipelines used to transport water and electricity.

The city government should also conduct a thorough check on all pipelines used to channel chemical substances, and help survivors get back on their feet and return to their normal lives as soon as possible. A damaged propylene pipeline is believed to have caused the July 31 explosions in Kaohsiung.

Following the blasts that killed 30 people and injured more than 300, the Kaohsiung government asked the central government to provide funds to help with the reconstruction work, which it estimated will require NT$1.9 billion. So now it is time for the city government to focus on the reconstruction work.

It has not been easy for the survivors to return to their normal lives, as the days-long heavy rains in southern Taiwan made the recovery work in Kaohsiung even more difficult.

Torrential rains have triggered floods in the areas where the blasts occurred, and some gas still remains in the underground pipelines in the city, which could pose a threat to the safety of the residents there. The crisis is not yet over.

The explosions have seriously damaged the roads, pavements, and pipelines used to channel water and electricity, as well as the drainage system in the affected areas, causing great inconvenience to the people living there.

In this case, the Kaohsiung City government must step up its efforts to help the blast survivors return to their normal lives.

In addition to restoring the original infrastructure, the city government should take the opportunity to make improvements to the areas. For example, it should strengthen the drainage system in the city, which tends to flood following heavy rains. (Editorial abstract -- Aug. 10, 2014)

(By Elaine Hou)