Premier calls for flood resilient cities in report to Legislature

  • Date: 2018-09-25
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te appeared before the Legislature Tuesday to report on the government’s flood control measures in the wake of last month’s severe flooding in central and southern Taiwan. Faced with extreme weather events, he said, Taiwan should think increasingly about adapting to natural environmental changes, and build flood resilient cities based on the principles of sustainability, balance, efficiency and strategic diversity.

The torrential downpours that began August 23 were caused by a tropical depression in combination with a southwesterly airflow over Taiwan, bringing extremely heavy precipitation that overwhelmed the designed capacity of the region’s drainage systems. Low-lying coastal regions and areas with land subsidence could only be drained by water pumps and other equipment, which contributed to the severe flooding, he said.

The premier apologized once again to the victims of the floods, adding that the Executive Yuan has directed the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Council of Agriculture to provide cash relief payments and low-interest loans to help rebuild affected homes and communities as swiftly as possible.

In his report, the premier presented five response actions to address extreme weather and the threat of natural disasters:

1. Improve the accuracy of meteorological and precipitation forecasts and warnings.
2. Continue constructing water-management infrastructure, with rolling reviews to evaluate the structures’ effectiveness in the face of climate change.
3. Strengthen Taiwan’s resilience to ensure sustainable development.
4. Reorganize the national disaster preparedness system.
5. Improve disaster prevention, relief and warning capabilities through the use of smart and innovative technologies.

The MOEA is planning to convene a national water control review conference to gather ideas on more comprehensive and pragmatic programs that can boost the nation’s overall flood management capabilities, Premier Lai said. The government will also work with the private sector to implement the Water Act, and make Taiwan safer by gradually improving each city’s ability to tolerate and withstand flooding stresses.