President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and government officials yesterday presented awards to civil groups to recognize their contributions toward the reconstruction of areas severely damaged by Typhoon Morakot three years ago.
Yesterday marked the third anniversary of Typhoon Morakot, which killed about 700 people, wiped out the former Siaolin Village (小林) in Greater Kaohsiung and destroyed many houses, roads and bridges in various counties.
Public Construction Minister Chen Chen-chuan (陳振川), the head of the Executive Yuan’s Typhoon Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Commission, said that more than 93.4 percent of the 3,439 permanent housing units designated for Morakot-affected families in 36 locations have been built.
The rest are expected to be completed by the end of this month, Chen said.
Tsai Song-yu (蔡松諭), leader of the Siaolin Village Reconstruction Committee, one of the recipients of the awards, said the trophy was a recognition for all of the villagers because “we never gave up hope.”
“Look at what we have been doing over the past three years in Siaolin Village. It is testimony that we can overcome all difficulties,” Tsai said.
Shih Hsiu-chu (施秀菊), of the Dimoer Culture Village in Pingtung County’s Sandimen Township (三地門), said that she appreciated the help extended to typhoon victims because they have “healed [the] hurt feelings of tribal people.”
Taiwan has learned valuable lessons in disaster prevention and post-disaster reconstruction from Typhoon Morakot, Ma said.