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).
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.”
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.
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:
Co-authored by Dreamf, GV Chinese translator.