Morakot: Taiwan's Worst Flood in 50 Years, Record Rainfall
Typhoon Morakot caused severe damage to the southern part of Taiwan with record breaking rainfall of 2,900 millimeters (114 inches) in 3 days. The highest single day regional regional record was broken on August 8th, at 1403 millimeters (55 inches). To put it in perspective, Vancouver's average annual rainfall is only 1117 mm (44 inches). Some bulidings were flooded up to the second floor, many counties isolated. Military personels have been deployed to help with the rescuing and reconstruction efforts. In Taitung County, segments of freeway and railway were washed away, 20 houses were washed into the sea, and a major hotel collapsed.
More than 150,168 people remain without power, and 28,282 households have had their phone lines cut, according to the latest statement from the National Fire Agency. Electricity was restored in some areas after disruptions that affected 1.4 million people, according to the statement. The storm caused an estimated NT$754.8 million ($23 million) in damage to crops, the agency said.
A Taiwanese blogger Billy Pan created a public Google map documenting the affected areas. The latest development is constantly updated on a website, Twitter, and Plurk. The sources are in Chinese, but the Google map is a visual representation of how serious a damage typhoon Morakot had caused.
Typhoons hit Taiwan frequently every summer. People are usually well prepared. Morakot is certainly one of a kind with massive rainfall. The last major floor ocurred on August 7th, 1959, caused more than a thousand dead or missing, 20 thousand house collapsed. The damage totalled 11% of GDP back then. Today, even with much better building standard and diaster preparation, Morakot still created major disruption to the whole country.
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