Local governments owe the Ministry of National Defense (MND) “more than several hundred million dollars” incurred from disaster rescue and relief missions over the past two years, a report by the ministry shows.
Data shows that between August 2009 and December last year, the ministry spent NT$1.31 billion (US$44.3 million) on post-disaster work for local governments.
The ministry spent about NT$794 million during the 2009 Typhoon Morakot operations, which included recovering bodies, removing debris and reopening roads, as well as disinfection and disease prevention.
Other rescue missions, including work to clear a landslide that buried more than 300m of the No. 3 Freeway near Keelung and work in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Megi in 2010, totaled NT$433 million, the report said.
Rescue operations last year, which included the derailment of a narrow-gauge train on Alishan (阿里山) and post-Typhoon Nanmadol efforts, as well as cloud-seeding work in the face of drought conditions, have cost the ministry NT$83.7 million, the report said.
The ministry said it had asked local governments to reimburse these expenses, but the governments have cited financial difficulties for not paying.
In order to claim the money back, the ministry said it would ask the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission to mediate and coordinate with the local government in question.