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Fri, Sep 14, 2001 - Page 5 News List

Mayor to assist disaster victims

FINANCIAL HELP Ma Ying-jeou says the family of a Peitou man killed in last week's heavy rains will receive an additional NT$1 million in disaster-relief assistance

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised to offer the family of a Peitou man killed in a mudslide caused by last week's torrential downpour a massive additional payment in a bid to help the family organize his funeral.

Ma made the promise on the council floor in response to the request of KMT City Councilor Chen Chin-chi (陳進棋).

Ma was called by the city council to deliver a special report on the city's efforts in tackling the problem of mudslides.

The city had originally planned to offer the family the standard NT$20,000 disaster-relief payment. The mayor's pledge means that the family will receive an additional NT$1 million.

The city was hit by the heavy rains and mudslides on Sept. 5, causing one death and injuring three.

The body of 70-year-old Chou Chung-shou (周仲壽) was not found until three days later in Tamsui, Taipei County.

Ma pinned the cause of the disaster on the substantial volume of rainfall in the Peitou area.

"The accumulated volume of rainfall in Yangmingshan was recorded at 356mm between 12 midnight and 9pm on Sept. 5, while elsewhere it was registered at 141mm," Ma said.

In addition, the Shuimokeng Creek was forced to change its course, causing it to hit Chou's house after its course was blocked by mud and tree trunks, Ma said.

As a long-term solution to the mudslide problem of Shuimokeng Creek, the city plans to earmark budgets next year for work on the creek in 2003, Ma said.

The city also plans to dredge 16 creeks where there is a potential danger of mudslides.

Of the 16 creeks, four are in Peitou, three are in Shihlin, five are in Neihu, two are in Hsinyi, and one each in Nankang and Wenshan districts.

The city has also teamed up with the Cabinet's National Science Council to conduct research on systems for monitoring the 16 rivers.

"When we conclude the project in June next year, we expect to know the priority order of the dredging plans," Ma said.

Chen asked Ma to cooperate with the central government in the dredging projects.

"It doesn't make sense to clean up only the part of the river under the jurisdiction of the city government, while leaving the rest which is under the jurisdiction of the central government," he said.

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