President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that deaths from accidents and suicide have fallen sharply, but he called for better precautions against natural disasters to further lower the loss of life.
Speaking at a ceremony recognizing the achievements of local governments in disaster prevention and relief, Ma said the death toll from fires and traffic accidents hit a 20-year low last year, with the number of traffic fatalities falling to about 2,000.
Statistics from the National Police Agency indicate that traffic fatalities exceeded 3,300 in 2000 and 2001, fell below 3,000 for the next four years, spiked to 3,140 in 2006, and have fallen annually since then, hitting a low of 2,047 last year.
The suicide rate has also fallen and an expected wave of suicides after Typhoon Morakot devastated southern parts of the country in August 2009 did not materialize, Ma said, but he still urged the central and local governments to do more in the area of disaster prevention.
Morakot was one of the most deadly natural disasters in Taiwan’s history, leaving more than 700 people dead or missing, and flooding nearly one-quarter of Taiwan’s land area.
Many attributed the massive amount of precipitation from the typhoon — nearly 3,000mm of rain in 72 hours in some areas — to global warming and Ma said Taiwan has felt the influence of global climate change.
Taiwan has experienced a 1.2°C increase in temperature over the past 100 years compared with a global average increase of 0.74°C, he said.
With Taiwan hit by an average of 3.6 typhoons and more than 1,000 earthquakes each year, cutting carbon emissions and disaster prevention have emerged as national security priorities, the president said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
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The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung