A disaster that could have been less painful

August 14, 2009


With flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot wreaking severe damage in southern Taiwan, experts must now consider how such a disaster could have been repeated 50 years after the notorious flooding of Aug. 7, 1959. Over the past two years, Taiwan’s ability to handle disasters has deteriorated. Compared with their disaster response measures last year, the incompetent bureaucrats in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government have made no progress.

First, Ma criticized the Central Weather Bureau for “misleading” the government last year, and he has done so again this time.

Second, flooding caused by heavy rains damaged central and southern Taiwan in late May and early June last year. Ma, however, was busy having a health check, acting like a zhainan (stay-at-home youth) and avoiding the front line. After severe criticism, he finally inspected the disaster area in mid-June.

But to avoid losing face because people might think he was admitting to making a mistake, Ma claimed he was simply visiting old friends.

On the evening that Typhoon Morakot struck, Ma attended the wedding of Taiwanese poet Chan Che (詹澈) and his Chinese wife. Chan was a celebrity among the “red shirts” who protested against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Third, in response to last year’s flooding, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) said total losses were “only” about NT$20 million (US$608,000). Last Saturday, the media reported that former vice premier Chiou I-jen’s (邱義仁) watermelon farm in Kaohsiung County alone suffered losses of about NT$400,000 from Typhoon Morakot. Yet on the same day, the council estimated that losses in all of Taiwan amounted to only about NT$5 million.
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Gebze’de Nefes Kesen Deprem Tatbikatı

August 14, 2009


Kocaeli’nin Gebze ilçesinde kamu kurumları tarafından Sultan Orhan Mahallesi’nde deprem tatbikatı gerçekleştirildi. Gerçeğini aratmayan tatbikata katılan ekipler tam not aldı.

Gebze Sivil Savunma Müdürlüğü tarafından organize edilen ve Gebze Belediyesi ile İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü, Garnizon Komutanlığı TÜBİTAK ve mahalle afet gönüllüleri ekiplerinin yanı sıra, kamu kuruluşları bünyesindeki sivil savunma ekiplilerinin katıldığı tatbikat nefes kesti. Yüze yakın kurtarma ekibinin katıldığı deprem tatbikatı Sultan Orhan Mahallesi’ndeki bir metruk binada yapıldı.

Senaryo gereği, haberleşmenin kesildiğini, birçok yolun kapanıp bina ve işyerinin yıkıldığını varsayan ekipler, yaralı ve kurtarılmayı bekleyen vatandaşları aramaya başladı. Temsili olarak boş bir binaya gelen ekipler, burada çıkan yangına müdahale ederken, ardından yaralıları binadan tahliye etti. Bu sırada teknik cihazlar ile enkaz altında kalan vatandaşların yerlerini tespit eden ekipler, yıkıntıların arasından yaralıları sağ olarak kurtardı. Emniyet güçleri de güvenliği sağladı.

Gebze Kaymakamı Salih Karabulut, Belediye Başkanı Adnan Köşker, İlçe Emniyet Müdürü Ahmet Can ve diğer yetkililerin de takip ettiği tatbikatta ekiplerin çalışmaları gerçek deprem müdahalesini aratmadı. Kaymakam Salih Karabulut, tatbikata katılan ve görevlerini başarı ile tamamlayan tüm ekiplere teşekkür ederek, “İnşallah 17 Ağustosları bir daha yaşamayız. 1999’da binlerce vatandaşımızı kaybetmiş ve o acımızı yüreğimize gömmüştük. Elbette bu acının milletimize bir faturası oldu. Bugün bu depremlerin daha
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A Million in China Evacuate Ahead of Typhoon

August 9, 2009


Typhoon Morakot slammed into the east coast of China on Sunday, packing winds up to 111 miles an hour, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing one million people to flee.

A 4-year-old child was reported dead in Wenzhou, a city of nearly 1.4 million in Zhejiang Province, where officials said the storm had leveled more than 300 homes. The child was among five people buried when the winds collapsed five adjacent houses.

The authorities said that the storm was whipping up waves as high at 26 feet in the East China Sea and in the strait between mainland China and Taiwan, which was battered by the typhoon on Saturday.

In Taiwan, which suffered its worst flooding in a half-century, three people were killed and 31 were missing and feared dead, Taiwan’s Disaster Relief Center told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Sixteen of the missing were from one family that had lived in a makeshift house in Kaohsiung, in the island’s south, that was swept away by the waters.

The island was swamped by more than 80 inches of rain, according to the Central Weather Bureau. In southeastern Taitung County, a six-story hotel collapsed into a river after torrential rains eroded its foundation, but officials said all 300 guests had been safely evacuated.

More than 170,000 people remained without power on Monday, the government said.

The typhoon, the eighth of the season, hit the Chinese mainland at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday at Xiapu County, in north Fujian Province. China’s state-run Xinhua news service said that more than 490,000 people had been moved to safety in Fujian, and 48,000 boats summoned back to harbor.
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