Taiwan’s disaster management system is comprehensive, easily operable, and has the potential to be exported to assist other countries, Premier Mao Chi-kuo said today at the award presentation and closing ceremony for the Executive Yuan’s 2011-2014 disaster prevention technology application exhibition.
Having weathered many natural calamities over the years, Taiwan has accumulated a wealth of know-how on disaster prevention, Mao said. The premier’s experience in disaster prevention work began after the massive September 21, 1999 earthquake, which rattled Taiwan and took nearly 2,500 lives. The devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009 also taught him a valuable lesson and enlarged his experiences.
While serving as minister of transportation and communications between 2008 and 2013, Mao oversaw emergency operations for several typhoons and led the Directorate-General of Highways in developing a systematic mechanism for disaster management. After taking office as vice premier, he started inspecting the cross-agency disaster management scheme.
“Good disaster management relies largely on the preventive and preparatory work we do during peacetime, as well as the appropriate measures we take before, during and after disasters,” noted the premier. He requested agencies to join forces and work out the concrete mechanisms, measures and information needed for different kinds of disasters.
Mao also touted Taiwan’s willingness to offer a helping hand to countries devastated by natural disasters. Global warming and frequent outbreaks of extreme weather have honed Taiwan’s capability to respond to such events, putting the island at the international forefront in several fields. Under the system, government agencies have learned to work together seamlessly, attending to peacetime prevention and mitigating risks before, during and after a disaster, he said.
During the ceremony, the premier presented awards to 17 agencies, commending them on their performance and long-term efforts in the research and development of disaster prevention technologies.