As flood season nears, government and public join hands to prepare

  • Date: 2019-05-02
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Thursday that this year’s flooding season has already begun, and with the gradual shift toward a more extreme climate, he instructed central agencies and local governments to take an even more vigilant stance as they tackle the full range of preparations and flood prevention measures. The application of technology for early warning and communications during a disaster, as well as cooperating with the private sector to buttress defenses, could make all the difference in minimizing damage and losses.

The premier made his remarks after a briefing at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on flood preparedness and prevention work in 2019.

In recent years, the government has allocated close to NT$100 billion (US$3.2 billion) to continue work on infrastructure to manage flooding, said Premier Su, noting that the actual total of NT$88.4 billion (US$2.9 billion) includes NT$27.3 billion (US$883.4 million) in special budget funding from the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. In some areas water management projects are still ongoing, and even if completed to provide a certain measure of protection against rising waters, flooding is always a possibility should rain pour down so prodigiously in a short period of time that it overflows a new system’s designed capacity. Because of this threat, he said, the government’s rapid response project may be of even greater importance. Measures include more accurate weather forecasting, early warning for at-risk areas, evacuation and escape routes, and the advance release of water from reservoirs.

The MOEA indicated that flood preparedness efforts will grow more focused on risk management. The Water Resources Agency has completed safety inspections on its water management infrastructure and is now picking up the pace of preparations at ongoing projects and key flood preparedness facilities.