However, on that Saturday, the coattail of Typhoon Morakot was making devastating damages to the southern part of Taiwan. It dumped one year worth of rain in two days. In some areas, the rainfall approached 3000 mm (3-meter high). Because of Taiwan's unique geological landscape, the rainfall caused terrible flooding and mud slides. Early this year, we visited the area during a two-day excursion, which we showed in two of our earlier blogs. It is one of the most scenic regions of Taiwan.
In one of the blogs, we talked about a Taiwan Aborigine's performance we saw during our overnight stay at a hot spring resort. The torrent water washed away the river bank during the Typhoon Morakot near that resort, a 10-story high hotel, 50 meters away from the river collapsed into the raging water. Normally, the river is as dry as in the first picture. The road that we took during that trip, Southern Cross-Island Highway is now cut off in many places by the typhoon. The little Aborigine villages dotted in the mountain as shown in this picture were totally cutoff from the outside world. The residents had to be airlifted to safety.
This picture was taken when we just about to cross the mountain path at the highest point of the highway. The road can be seen at lower part of the picture. You can imaging how the side of the mountain can slide and crashing down onto the road or villages during a terrible rain storm.
This picture was taken after we crossed the mountain path looking toward west. The valley down below is the worst damaged area. When over 2 meters of rainfall in two days on these mountains rushed down through the valleys, people only had minutes to escape before the floods and mud slides hit. In one village, half of the buildings disappeared with loss of almost 400 lives.
August 8 is Father's Day and the government nerve center at Taipei is at the northern part of Taiwan. It was totally calm and unscratched by the Typhoon. The government officials sitting in air-conditioned central command, or ran out to have a hair cut or a dinner with father-in-law did not convey an image that they were responding to the emergency with enough organization and urgency. People are not happy about it. These officials may eventually have to pay for it with their political career.
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