I got to wondering about this question. The scale of the Japanese disaster defies imagination; how would Taiwan handle such an event? I hunted down some stuff but it basically all came down to this:
Following the Chi-chi Earthquake, Taiwan began to systematically review and improve its emergency management system, yet there is still a lack of a national and policy-oriented spearheading with respect to disaster mitigation and response management measures for major urban earthquake disasters. For example, every four years, the Executive Yuan, Taiwan holds a national technology conference. The strategies adopted at the 2005 conference emphasized the search for and application of an earthquake disaster loss assessment system; at the 2009 conference that marked the 10th anniversary of the Chi-chi Earthquake, a recapitulation report on Topic VI mentioned the importance of studying and drafting a large-scale urban earthquake disaster mitigation strategy. Although such issues were academically discussed over the past decades, there was not much to be done in terms of the government’s actual strategizing framework.It's the old story, there is hardly an urgent of need of Taiwan's that cannot be described as "not much to be done in terms of the government's actual strategizing framework." Historically Taiwan has been hit by tsunamis (source)....
What this list shows is that practically anywhere in Taiwan might be hit by a tsunami -- especially when you consider that tsunamis from elsewhere might well end up on our shores. Quakes can happen anywhere in the area -- the 1604 and 1661 tsunamis were generated by quakes in the Taiwan Strait. To get some idea of what places might be especially vulnerable, the rising sea level maps at flood.firetree.net will provide a rough view (a few articles on the government's quake warning programs, in place since the 1990s, are collected here). How high above the waterline are the nuke plants, which are all near the coast?
President Ma gave his answer to the emphatically bipartisan failing of disaster strategizing last year while engaging in pre-event CYA for an incoming typhoon:
Nor is this just Ma, then-Premier Su said the same thing back in '04 after a mudslide, and asked -- of all authorities -- the Council of Agriculture to draw up evacuation plans.
President Ma Ying-jeou says local governments are responsible for disaster prevention, rescue efforts and evacuation plans. Ma's statement came Tuesday following a land warning against Typhoon Namtheun issued by the Central Weather Bureau a day earlier.
During his inspection of a disaster prevention center, Ma talked about the different tasks of the central and local governments.
"We've always held that local governments are responsible for disaster prevention and rescue while the central government offers support," said Ma. "The central government will provide data such as weather [conditions], so that local governments can fully grasp the situation. But local governments are in charge of implementing [disaster-related] plans. The central government will offer full support."
Reacting to a mudslide triggered by Typhoon Haima which killed four members of the same family in Hsinchu County on the weekend, Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday said he had asked the Council of Agriculture to draw up a comprehensive evacuation plan for vulnerable areas.Unfortunately quakes and tsunamis do not follow county boundaries and in any case cash-strapped local governments are too poor to carry out evacuations and then feed and house the survivors. Hopefully the next Administration will take this timely warning from Japan and start to get our own house in order.....
"Disaster Prevention Law [災害防救法] Article 214 grants city mayors and county commissioners the right to forcibly evacuate. The responsibility to evacuate therefore falls on heads of local governments," Su said yesterday. "The central government's role is instead to offer weather-related information and provide assistance to local governments in the decision-making process."
- Frozen Garlic with some interesting ruminations on the upcoming elections, with Tsai declaring and everyone fighting for winnable seats.
- Long term expats enjoy living in Taiwan
- Taiwan should build subs! And what would their basing arrangements be?
- Taiwan industrial park for Gujurat
- US DNI names China as "mortal threat."
- One Melbourne firefighter's experience in coming to Taiwan after 9/21.
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