Minister Lee lauds local governments for efforts against typhoon damage
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan said yesterday that local governments have done a better job than before in timing the establishment of emergency operation centers against possible destruction caused by Typhoon Usagi.
September 22, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Lee made the remark when asked by reporters to comment on the anti-disaster performance of local city and county governments against Typhoon Usagi, before he attended a briefing at the Central Emergency Operation Center. The minister had been known for criticizing local city and county governments in Southern Taiwan for failing to set up such centers against Tropical Storm Kong-Rey, which inundated Southern Taiwan last month with heavy flooding.
Lee said that local governments have set up anti-typhoon operation centers well in advance as they better utilized warning information related to Typhoon Usagi and the heavy rainfall and possible floods it may bring.
He said that local governments used to determine whether to set up emergency operation centers based on the radius of a given typhoon. But this time, additional warning information relating to heavy rainfall and floods were taken into consideration, enabling local governments to set up anti-typhoon centers well in advance.
During a videoconference with President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday, Tainan Mayor William Lai and Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hua-kuan asked Ma to continue funding a major flood-prevention project in Southern Taiwan as Typhoon Usagi approached, and Chang also asked the interior minister to come down to Southern Taiwan to see the anti-flood achievements of local governments.
When asked to respond to Magistrate Chang's call, Lee said that as a commander of the Central Emergency Operation Center, his main task is to help local governments minimize typhoon-related disasters rather than to prevent floods.
Lee stressed that flood prevention is a daily job, not a job only done during typhoon periods.
The minister continued that it's the Ministry of Economic Affairs that takes charge of flood prevention projects, and Vice Premier Mao Chih-kuo has convened an ad hoc panel to conduct a thorough review of local anti-flood programs, their budgets and their cost effectiveness, so as to better implement similar programs in the future.