Taiwan typhoon responses to get help from outer space

August 18, 2009

Slow-moving Morakot stormed into Taiwan’s typhoon hall of infamy this past week, rescue teams complained, largely because clouds hovered in the hardest hit areas even after the killer storm had passed.

The clouds blocked any aerial views of mountain villages in southern Taiwan where hundreds of people are presumed dead from landslides.

Disaster officials on this western Pacific island, a veteran of raging late summer typhoons, couldn’t even confirm the biggest landslide, which buried a village that was home to more than 1,000 people, until a day after it had happened.

But Taiwan’s National Space Organization aims to change that in five to six years by designing a radiometer that could be launched into space on one of its heavier satellites, Formosat-2 or Formosat-5. Positioned around 800 km (500 miles) above earth, the radiometer would check water levels, potentially showing whether a river had suddenly changed course, said Nick Yen, a space organisation programme director.

The same radiometer could also detect changes in the sea level, hinting at tsunamis after an earthquake, for which Taiwan is also known.

“The National Space Organisation isn’t able to do this yet, but we are working on that,” Yen said in an interview. “It’s quite a useful tool for rescue operations.”

Taiwan will seek help from academia and possibly from the United States, which has already developed the technology, Yen said. He did not specify a budget but said developing the radiometer would cost more in labour than in materials. Taiwan, the world’s No. 37 space power, would share radiometer data internationally but keep the technology to itself, he said.

(Pictures – Top: Family members of flood victims look at the site of a major landslide that destroyed the mountain village of Hsiao Lin in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, August 15, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer. Centre right: A destroyed home lies partially submerged in a river in Gaushu township after Typhoon Morakot swept through Pingtung county, southern Taiwan, August 14, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer. Bottom left: Taiwan’s first satellite is launched into orbit atop a U.S. Lockheed Martin Athena 1 rocket from Florida, in January 1999. REUTERS/Stringer.)


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There are various different methods of Japanese knotweed removal. Using a Japanese knotweed rhizome barrier may be one of the methods to prevent the local spread of the plant. This will prevent the spreading across a land boundary as the barrier is buried along the required margin. The barrier is comprised of a thick sheet of plastic that cannot be penetrated by underground growth of the knotweed.

Posted by Phlorum | Report as abusive

In answer to the empathy that I felt when I saw news reports that Taiwan had apparently suffered a 60” rain fall deluge in a 4 hour period from Typhoon Morakot, (where numerous highway bridges were washed out), I thought, “I can design a concrete culvert bridge where non-professional construction people” (working without any construction equipment) to use locally available supplies, “for immediately building permanent large concrete culvert bridge construction projects”.
Interested parties can Google “RWW “Heal the World!”” (for my Flickr WEB site @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/18528672@N0 6/ ), or can email me, & I’ll happily attach the drawings pages that illustrates the concept. (I won’t place my WEB site address within this email (where I’ve placed dozens of drawings that are just good to ever patent!) because the SPAM filters will think that this email is trying to sell something!)

Regards, & May God continue 2 bless!

Posted by Rick W. White | Report as abusive

It is awesome that technology now helping us to control disasters or better yet prevent it. Amazing and it should improve continuously.

Posted by Tayvan Vizesi | Report as abusive

Taiwanese want to hear from Dalai Lama

The visit of Dalai Lama is the most inspiring event happening these days in Taiwan. We know we have to deal with the suffering of losing love ones and the pains of reconstruction caused by Typhoon Morakot on our own. But, we do expect Dalai Lama will understand what we have been through, share our pain, and comfort our souls. The Taiwanese people welcome Dalai Lama with our full hearts.
Unfortunately, due to the pressure from mad China, the incompetent Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou and his party members have successfully made Dalai Lama cancel his international press conference and public speech in the last minutes before his arrival. We are more than angry. We understand the pressure faced by Dalai Lama, and expect Dalai Lama will not be bothered by these unpleasant requests. However, as Taiwanese, we do not accept Ma Ying-Jeou and China to insult Dalai Lama in this way. China has no right to dictate whom Taiwanese can listen to. Ma Ying-Jeou is Taiwan’s President, and should work on behalf of the Taiwanese People, not for China. Taiwanese want to listen to Dalai Lama, and expect a guest should have the freedom of speech in Taiwan.

What bothers us most is the fact that Ma would rather step away from Taiwanese. Whatever international media credits Ma for the improving relationship between China and Taiwan can’t be tested against the 1,000 missiles still targeting Taiwan. Should Taiwanese keep silent about the cancellation of the public speech by Dalai Lama, soon Taiwan will be turned over quietly, against our wills, to China. Therefore, we would highly appreciate if you can keep an eye on this event, and verify what Taiwanese really want, and how many Taiwanese stand with Ma in this decision.

We thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Posted by MM Chen | Report as abusive