SYSTEM NEEDS FIX LIU 2009: Premier Statement


The premier made the statement after presiding over the second meeting of an ad hoc post-typhoon reconstruction committee in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot.
He chaired the meeting of senior officials held at a military base in Chishan Township in southern Kaohsiung County. Liu said the country’s natural disaster prevention and response mechanism, as well as the present standard operating procedure (SOP) for timely evacuations of people from potentially dangerous areas in the event of an imminent natural disaster, should also be overhauled and strengthened. He said the government will conduct a thorough review of the existing public infrastructure specifications with regard to augmenting public safety throughout the island. Liu’s pledges came after he and President Ma Ying-jeou spent several days in southern Taiwan meeting with flood victims and reevaluating rescue and relief operations after Morakot wreaked havoc in southern counties, particularly in several remote mountainous regions. The premier played a key role in coordinating the relief and rescue operations after the devastating Sept. 21 earthquake hit the island 10 years ago. Liu said he directed the Construction and Planning Agency under the Ministry of the Interior and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction to come up with improvement and reinforcement measures for dealing with massive natural disasters. The central government will also discuss relevant reform measures with local governments and victims before putting them into force, Liu said. He especially stressed new strategies for coping with massive disasters that are beyond human control, including drawing up specific criteria for the timing of evacuations of people to avoid or minimize calamities.
The best way to protect the people is to immediately move residents in vulnerable areas to safety when massive disasters strike in relatively short periods of time, he said.

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