Taiwan: Southern Taiwan devastated by typhoon Morakot

On Aug. 7, 2009, typhoon Morakot landed on Taiwan. The Central Weather Bureau urged residents in Northern Taiwan to be prepared for the heavy rain and strong wind brought by Morakot. However, it turned out that southern Taiwan has suffered from more devastating landslides and floods when compared with northern Taiwan, especially when Morakot swiped the island(zh) at around 2 P.M. on Aug. 8.

Heavy rainfall in Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taitung has resulted in record-breaking daily precipitation. While the most devastated region is Pingtung county, where the accumulated rainfall in 24 hours is 1,403 mm (zh). The accumulated rainfall in three days is up to 2,500 mm(zh), which is equal to the average annual rainfall!

Two third of the Pingtung County has been flooded. In Linbian, Fangliao, and Kanding, a large number of buildings are surrounded with deep water and residents have to stay on top of the roofs awaiting for help. In Chiadung, the whole town has to be evacuated(zh).

According to news report at 22:00, Aug 10, the flood has already claimed 23 lives and brought 56 missing cases(zh). More than 30,000 people were traped(zh).


Photo by Liu of UDN.

Typhoon Morakot reminded Taiwanese of a previous disaster “87 flood(zh)” in 1959, which had destroyed 13 counties. The damage caused was up to 11% GDP of Taiwan then.


The broken South Link Railway in Taimali, Taitung

Photo by CNA(quoted from UDN)

Witnessing the widespread destruction caused by Morakot in Southern Taiwan, blogger and netizens decided to take action.

Billypan and a team of volunteers on Plurk started aggregating and gathering informations from all over Taiwan and created a Google Map mash-up to mark the affected areas.

Billypan reported on Plurk:


“Having entered so many markers on the disaster map, I have a strong feeling that the situations in Changhwa and Taichung are getting more and more serious. People in Central Taiwan better be prepared.”

XDite also created a website, “Supporting for the victims of Morakot Typhoon“, for netizens to offer helps to each others.

Twitter and plurk messages by GENE and landslides map by Schee are aggregated at Morakot Disaster Intelligence Center, another disaster relief coordinating platform created and maintained by ADCT, a non-profit organization of which I am also a member. Below is a sticker that links to the website.

Sticker for Taiwanfloods: “God Bless Taiwan”(天佑台灣)

Blogger Ivan shared many information about disaster relief(zh) on his blog. He reminded other netizens to send bottle water rather than cokes to the affected regions. Vincent Chang suggested Administrative Yuan to learn from Web 2.0(zh) in its disaster relief work.

Blogger, Mr. Friday, inspired by Billypan and Xdite's responses to the flood, looked into theviability of redesigning the city with digital technology(zh). Journalist and blogger Chyng wrote an in-depth report about the impact of the global climate change on tropical island. The article was ended with a citation of an environmental scholar Liao Ben-Chuan's words:


Liao Ben-Chuan pointed out that under global climate change, there will be more and more violent rainstorms; researches also indicated that these rainstorms will have devastating impact on islands. If the government still does not have long-term conservation plan, Taiwan's future will be gloomy.

Co-authored by Dreamf, GV Chinese translator.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.