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Mayor Praises City Staff for Rapid Response during Impromptu Flood Drill

Mayor Chiang speaks with Deputy Mayor Lee during the drillWith the start of flood season, Taipei City Government conducted an impromptu flood drill in the evening of April 27. Mayor Chiang Wan-an announced the start of the drill at 7:40 PM. Later, he visited Zhongshan Pump Station, Fuxing North Road Underpass, and Exit 1 of MRT Xingtian Temple Station to inspect the progress of exercises which featured scenarios such as flooded underpass and cleaning ditches, as well as checking the response capability of city workers.

During the inspection visit, the mayor expressed concerns about the pumps at Zhongshan Pump Station which was inaugurated in 1981. Director Chen Kuo-cheng of the Hydraulic Engineering Office replied that the machineries have been overhauled in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and there is a reconstruction plan which is still in the works.

Chiang also asked questions about at what rainfall level will the city government close the underpass and stop vehicles from entering. Commissioner Lin Kun-hu of the New Construction Office remarked that the order will be issued when three rain gauge stations across Taipei forecast downpours exceeding 40 mm per hour. As for whether this standard is sufficient to respond to extremely heavy rain, Lin answered that it is enough to handle the situation. He added that the Fuxing North Road Underpass has yet to experience flooding.

Recalling the recent wave of heavy rainfall on April 20, the mayor pointed out that many roads in central Taiwan reported heavy flooding due to the front. He reminded the public that flood season has arrived and people should remain alert. As Taiwan enters the monsoon and typhoon seasons, Chiang stressed that the increased frequency of unpredictable short and heavy downpour more easily lead to flooding. That is why the drill tonight seeks to test the response of city agencies and locate potential weaknesses that people might have overlooked.

According to the Taipei City Disaster Response and Rescue Center, data from the past decade showed that despite a drop in the frequency of typhoon disaster, the frequency of flooding disaster have seen a substantial rise. Therefore, the drill on April 27 sets up the scenario where the Central Weather Bureau issued a heavy rain advisory for northern Taiwan and all agencies involved in disaster response and rescue operations are on standby. Agencies in the domains of civil affairs, environmental protection, police, fire-fighting, public works – as well as district offices – have all established their respective internal disaster response task force. City workers have also been dispatched to clean ditches, patrol flood-prone areas, and collect disaster-related reports.

The Disaster Response and Rescue Center calls upon the public to download the Taipei City Mobile Disaster Prevention app and add Taipei City Government as a friend on LINE as ways to receive the latest update on disaster prevention.