Premier orders prompt restoration of water, electricity in Taitung

  • Date: 2016-07-09
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
<p>20160709 Premier orders prompt restoration of water, electricity in Taitung</p>

Premier  Lin  Chuan  today  pledged  to  help  Taitung  residents  get  their  lives  back  to  normal  as  soon  as  possible  after  the  eastern  county  suffered  the  brunt  of  Typhoon  Nepartak,  which  pummeled  Taiwan  Friday.

While  surveying  hard-hit  areas  in  Taitung,  the  premier  said  central  and  local  governments  must  work  closely  together  to  restore  water,  electricity  and  transportation  swiftly.  He  also  thanked  the  military  for  their  hard  work  in  rescue  and  cleanup  operations.

The  powerful  typhoon  caused  a  wide  range  of  structural  damage  to  water,  electricity,  road  and  transportation  systems,  Lin  said,  adding  that  the  immediate  task  at  hand  is  to  restore  these  vital  systems.  Aside  from  military  troops,  the  Ministry  of  Health  and  Welfare  is  on  the  ground  tending  to  typhoon  victims.  Taiwan  Power  Co.  and  Taiwan  Water  Corp.  are  also  working  around  the  clock  to  bring  back  basic  water  and  electricity.

Regarding  agricultural  losses,  the  Council  of  Agriculture  (COA)  has  declared  Taitung  and  Pingtung  counties  natural  disaster  areas  and  will  provide  cash  assistance  and  low-interest  loans  to  affected  farmers.  Aid  applications  are  to  be  accepted  for  10  days  beginning  July  10.  County  governments  will  help  process  the  applications  while  township  and  local  officials  will  complete  damage  inspections  as  quickly  as  possible.  The  aim  is  to  provide  broad  assistance  in  a  rapid  and  simple  manner.

The  initial  relief  package  for  Taitung  County  will  amount  to  NT$300  million  (US$9.26  million)  while  Pingtung  will  receive  NT$12  million  (US$370,000),  Premier  Lin  said.  More  assistance  will  follow  depending  on  actual  needs.

This  crisis  brings  an  opportunity  for  change,  Lin  continued.  Faced  with  much  damage,  Taitung  must  not  only  change  and  rebuild  itself  but  also  improve  its  water  drainage,  siltation  prevention,  pest  control  and  other  capabilities.  The  COA’s  Taitung  District  Agricultural  Research  Extension  Station  will  collaborate  with  the  county  government  and  take  this  opportunity  to  improve  crop  cultivation  methods  and  boost  the  productivity  and  competitiveness  of  Taitung  farmers.

It  is  the  government’s  responsibility  to  protect  the  lives  and  property  of  citizens  and  solve  society’s  problems,  the  premier  added.  He  expressed  hope  that  central  and  local  authorities  will  work  closely  to  restore  normalcy  after  the  typhoon  while  at  the  same  time  formulate  long-term  solutions  to  the  area’s  problems.