Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ABC Wednesday: E is for Typhoon Emergency

Many of you may remember the blog that we wrote about my (Bradley) trip back from the US to Taipei and how my trip was delayed due to Typhoon Morakot. I landed at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport on Saturday, August 8, right at the moment that the eye of the typhoon was passing through the airport into the Taiwan Strait. There was no rain and wind. As I wrote in the blog, we went out to enjoy Taipei which was Father's Day in Taiwan.

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.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

13 comments:

James said...

From your beautiful pictures it's hard to imagine the dangers that happens there.

Hildred and Charles said...

A very interesting post, - thank you for it. Beautiful pictures.

photowannabe said...

That is a lot of water to come down in just 2 days. I have been thinking about you and your country.

Irene Toh said...

It's sad to read about the devastation brought by the floods to these villages. It's such a beautiful place. Sigh..

Reader Wil said...

Horrible what typhoons can cause. My father often told of those typhoons at sea. It was a wonder that he always came home safe.

April said...

Such a beautiful place. I feel so sorry for the people whose lives were impacted by this typhoon.

Roger Owen Green said...

extremes of beauty and destruction

Joy said...

I heard about this on the radio and their correspondent was saying about the difficult terrain but your pictures certainly show how remote it is. How beautiful, but how deadly the weather can be.

Jay said...

Oh, my goodness. The power of nature truly is awesome when something like this happens, isn't it? One moment calm and beautiful, the next whole villages and tall hotels being washed away with much loss of life.

How hard that must be to cope with. Those poor people!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Amazing the destruction typhoons can cause. Taiwan is such a beautiful place unfortunately in the path of dangerous tropical storms.

Tumblewords: said...

Beautiful photos - incredible disaster...so sorry...

kbguy (福生) said...

how about include photos after the typhoon ?

kRiZ cPEc said...

that's very sad.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails