Contents & Abstracts
Editorial : Special
Issue on “Disaster Management: Views from the 921
by Li-Wen Liu, Li-Ju Jang, Jieh-Jiuh Wang, Shu-Twu Wang & Fang-Yie Leu
Since the Chichi Earthquake (M L=7.3) of 1999, the frequency of sediment-related disasters, such as landslides and debris flows, in Taiwan have increased dramatically. Because structure regulations cannot be fully implemented promptly, the government has initiated non-structure disaster mitigation actions. The debris flow evacuation drills in communities were promoted in 2000, advocating safety and security through hazard mitigation. Typhoon Toraji of 2001 caused 181 casualties and many debris flows, which indicated that the evacuation before the occurrence of a debris flow is closely related to disaster prevention. Thus, the Taiwanese government has expanded debris flow evacuation drills. In addition, the foundation of the early warning system developed after the Chichi Earthquake promotes Taiwan’s performance on debris flow prevention projects. The rainfall threshold for debris flow warnings of different areas are revised according to the onsite observation data collected from debris flow monitoring stations. Real-time information is gradually integrated to construct a debris flow disaster response system, which announces debris flow hazard-prone zones. The two-level-warning signs of evacuation mechanisms, red and yellow, as presented in 2005 with the execution of mandatory evacuation, are able to evacuate the public before disasters. The number of casualties in communities equipped with the evacuation system has decreased among the six debris flow disasters in the four presented communities in this paper. Overall, the decreased casualties from debris flow disasters during decade after the Chichi Earthquake is not due to a decrease of sediment related disasters, but the gradually improved early warning and evacuation systems.
With a majority of Taiwan’s population exposed to high risks associated with typhoon, flood and earthquake disasters due to its geographical location coupled with a densely-concentrated population in urban areas, devising a framework for routinely validating urban earthquake disaster management strategies has emerged as an urgent mission for Taiwan. Following the September 21st, 1999, the Chi-chi Earthquake, Taiwan began to systematically review and improve its emergency management system. However, there seems to be a lack of national and policy-oriented spearheading aimed at disaster management measures for urban earthquake disasters.
Since 2003, the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Committee , Executive Yuan , Taiwan start s to develop relevant contents and procedures for the progressive exercise design by emulating the standards of the Federal Emergency Management Administration , USA. At 2006, it started implementing four separate central government disaster scenario exercises focusing on typhoon, flood and earthquake disasters. At 2007, the NDPPC expanded this action to cover Taipei County and Taoyuan County.
The main objective of this paper is to analyze the significance of reviewing earthquake disaster management strategies with respect to exercise planning and implementation processes, including applied scenarios, and it includes a review of existing pertinent plans and procedures. This article also considers how best to routinely implement yearly emergency scenarios and exercises and even an integrated exercise plan at a national level as a mechanism for routine validating urban earthquake disaster management policies.
Military troops are often expected to be tough even under critical conditions. Those stereotyped expectations could cause extra stress to people serve in the military. This group intervention program was designed to assist soldiers who participated in rescue work after the main shock of the 921 Earthquake. Many of them experienced symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder. Two program evaluation tools were also developed to assess program effectiveness. This program provides affected soldiers a safe place to express their negative feelings and emotions toward the traumatic event. Group members indicate that normalization serves as a protective factor to them. Knowing their physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions are normal for people under abnormal situations is a great relief for them.
Helping children who lost their loved ones to natural disaster can be challenging for family members, teachers, counsellors, as well as psychiatrists. The case presents here is an eleven-year-old boy who was interdependent with his single mother before the 921 Earthquake. Unfortunately, he lost his mother to the catastrophe. The boy experienced some traumatic reactions, such as refused to talk about the disaster and showed no emotions about his great loss. He seemed not know how to cope with his grief for his deceased mother. Through the utilization of expressive art materials, the boy was able to cope with his grief and move on with his life. This paper intends to demonstrate how to use expressive art materials as the vehicle of grief counselling to help those traumatized children to cope with their grief.
The 921 Earthquake is the most catastrophic natural disaster that occurred in Taiwan in the most recent 60 years. The calamity left people with terror and insecurity. Conventional studies of the earthquake aftermath generally focus on emergency response systems, evacuation drills, emergency medical responses, new enhanced building codes and earthquake warning systems. Regrettably, the role of a quake-affected hospital facility, particularly a larger-scale, and its restoration are rarely discussed. In the 921 Earthquake, the Jen-Ai Hospital was the largest hospital in the Tali area. Though devastated by the disaster, the hospital was able to provide medical assistance to those who were injured. This paper reports on Jen-Ai Hospital’s response to the medical assistance and its quick reconstruction. It also shares their survival stories of recovery and reconstruction of their communities in hope of providing learning experiences for other hospitals located in disaster prone areas.
On September 21, 1999, Taiwan encountered the worst ever earthquake in the past hundred years which caused tremendous loss of lives and property. In the past ten years, government, NGOs, and NPOs have been working together to reconstruct the affected areas. The authors propose a cross-disciplinary model of community disaster management support system. The construction of a comprehensive community disaster management support system means the enhancement and promotion of capacity and skills in different aspects, including 1.) implementation of community hazard-risk-vulnerability (HRV) analysis, 2.) promotion in disaster managing capacity of the individuals, community, as well as the government at all levels, 3.) a sound operation and interaction mechanism between community organizations and the governments, as well as among levels of government, and 4.) construction of systems and skills that monitoring disaster occurrence and managing available resources.
Link to full paper
Massey University, New Zealand
15 December, 2010