Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 3 Number 2 (2011)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2011 3 2

doi: 10.3850/S179392401100068X


Deputy Minister, National Science Council, Taiwan

The National Science Council's major responsibilities are to promote the development of national science and technology and to support academic research and development of science parks. We promote national sci-tech development through implementing planning and coordinating national sci-tech affairs; formulating mid- and long-term sci-tech plans; reviewing, controlling, and evaluating government sci-tech programs; and conducting surveys regarding the activities of national sci-tech research and development. For academic research, the National Science Council implements funding research projects; cultivates, recruits, and rewards sci-tech personnel; and promotes sci-tech interchange and cooperation.

Typhoon Morakot wrought catastrophic damage in Taiwan, leaving 461 people dead and 192 others missing, most of whom are feared dead and roughly NT$110 billion ($3.3 billion USD) in damages. The storm produced copious amounts of rainfall, peaking at 2,777 mm (109.3 in), surpassing the previous record of 1,736 mm (68.35 in) set by Typhoon Herb in 1996. The extreme amount of rain triggered enormous mudslides and severe flooding throughout southern Taiwan. One mudslide buried the entire village of Xiaolin, killing an estimated 500 people in the village alone. From the case of Xiaolin Village, we understand the importance of risk communication and education. Especially for people's safety, the geological conditions or environment of vulnerable places that are threatened by possible debris flows or landslides should be given more attention and the potential risk be evaluated as well as implementation of disaster prevention measures and education.

The collaboration between National Yunlin University of Science and Technology and Kyoto University have jointly produced this excellent special volume, which highlights the key issues of Taiwan and Japan in the field of disaster education and risk communication. I am confident that this special volume will serve its purpose.