Gov't to further assess flood prevention and budget: Ma
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the administration will hold further discussions on how to allocate flood prevention-related funds, in response to heavy rain recently seen across the island.
August 30, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The president yesterday canceled his schedule and went to the Central Emergency Operation Center in the afternoon to monitor the latest developments of Tropical Storm Kong-Rey, conducting videoconferences with officials in Chiayi and Yunlin.
Ma said that the tropical storm had brought about rapid rainfall, causing floods in the island's southwest region.
Although the tropical storm's route can be projected, the amount of precipitation caused by it will be harder to forecast, the president said, adding that when facing inclement weather, one has to very cautious.
Floods caused by the storm have reached between 30 to 60 centimeters in depth, while in low-lying regions, floods have reached as tall as one story, Ma said.
With the support of the armed forces, the situation has been kept under control, the president said, adding that although it is hard to accurately forecast precipitation, the relevant authorities need to stay alert in order to minimize damage.
With regard to the controversy over school and office closures in the south, Ma said that there is room for the responsible authorities to conduct some reassessment.
Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) was yesterday blasted by residents for keeping schools and offices open in the morning, while areas of his city experienced severe flooding.
Regarding the government's NT$60 billion increase in flood prevention-related funds, Ma said that judging from this tropical storm, the increase has helped reduce floods in several areas.
Related projects and the size of budget needed to carry them out will be planned by relevant authorities, Ma said.
The fact that Tropical Storm Kong-Rey caused severe flooding in Southern Taiwan overnight reasserts the need for both the central and local governments to be more alert during the typhoon season, the president went on to say.