More than 100 survivors of Typhoon Morakot — which led to Taiwan’s worst flooding in 50 years — displayed their reconstruction achievements at an event in Taipei yesterday, prior to the third anniversary of the disaster.
Children and adults from central and southern Taiwan, hit hard by the storm in August 2009, performed songs and danced at the event, held by the Greater Taichung-based Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, to celebrate the progress of rebuilding work.
Over the past three years, the group has helped residents in Nantou, Chiayi, Taitung and Pintung counties, as well as Greater Kaohsiung, to rebuild homes and schools and breathe new life into local communities.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
The performances showed “they are back on their feet,” said Miguel Wang (王明仁), executive director of the non-governmental fund which has provided financial support and counseling for families affected by the disaster.
At the event, some of the survivors of the disaster shared their stories of the reconstruction process.
“Since the disaster, we have come to realize the importance of developing our village in a sustainable way that allows us to make a living over the long term,” said Ismahasan Si-un, a member of the Aboriginal Nangnisalu tribe in Greater Kaohsiung.
Residents in Nanshalu (南沙魯) now have a facility to exhibit and sell handbags and decorative items made by women who learned handicraft skills after the disaster, Ismahasan said on the sidelines of the event.
Ismahasan, a handicraft artist, said she spent two years rebuilding her house with the help of the fund.
Nearly seven months after the disaster, she summoned the courage to return to her tribe and started teaching women to make aboriginal-style handicraft pieces.
To increase local tourism revenue, she added, residents also opened a restaurant serving aboriginal dishes.
In Pingtung, the fund assisted Jhu-Lin Elementary School, which was flooded and inundated with mud when the typhoon struck.
It also helped bring in teachers to teach students arts and science, school principal Tsou Mei-hua (曹美華) said.
With the extra classes, children can “enjoy learning” while their parents can “focus on supporting their families,” she said.
Over the past three years, the fund has set up eight centers in disaster-stricken areas of Pingtung, Taitung, Kaohsiung, Chiayi and Nantou to provide financial assistance, personal support and counseling.
Some of the centers will become permanent facilities to help local residents, Wang said.
Typhoon Morakot brought torrential rain that triggered flooding and massive landslides in central and southern Taiwan, leaving nearly 700 people dead or missing.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
ADAPTING: The CECC said the policy change would happen this week at the earliest, while PCR testing stations would be used to diagnose people and prescribe drugs The general public would be able to use a positive rapid test result that has been confirmed by a doctor for COVID-19 diagnosis starting later this week at the soonest, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 79,441 new local infections and 53 deaths. The center on Saturday announced that it was expanding the rapid test diagnosis policy to people living in indigenous townships and outlying islands, starting today. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday said the policy might be further expanded to include “all people” this week, at the soonest. He