BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
BACKGROUND AND KEY DEVELOPMENTS
- From August 8 to 9, Typhoon Morakot passed over Taiwan with heavy rains and wind speeds of more than 100 mph, resulting in extensive flooding and mudslides. The storm caused widespread damage throughout central and southern Taiwan, particularly in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Taitung, Nantou, Chiayi, and Tainan counties. Typhoon Morakot has displaced approximately 4,000 people and resulted in the deaths of at least 126 people, with 45 people injured and 61 reported missing, according to the Taiwan authorities. The death toll is expected to increase considerably as recovery operations continue.
- The USAID/OFDA regional advisor reported on August 18 that the humanitarian situation is stable, that no immediate life-threatening situations are being reported, and that critical requirements for food, water, shelter, and health assistance are being met in the affected areas.
- On August 9, following reporting of the typhoon's impacts by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), USAID/OFDA provided $250,000 through AIT to support the relief efforts of the Taiwan Red Cross Organization (TRCO). Following the initial response, USAID/OFDA deployed a regional advisor to Taiwan on August 14. The regional advisor is working closely with the TRCO, local government officials, the Taiwan military, and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) personnel to assess humanitarian needs and coordinate U.S. Government (USG) assistance efforts.
- On August 15 and 16, the DoD delivered 517,420 water purification tablets and 120 rolls of plastic tarpaulin via two C-130 cargo planes for distribution to typhoon-affected populations. In addition, the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is providing air assets, including two heavy-lift helicopters that are transporting excavation equipment, and two helicopters from the ship U.S.S. Denver on stand-by in the event that additional transportation of relief supplies and personnel is needed.
NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
|Total Affected Population||126 dead, 61 missing, 45 injured, approximately 4,000 displaced||Taiwan authorities - August 2009|
FY 2009 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Taiwan: $250,000
DoD Assistance to Taiwan: To be determined
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance to Taiwan: $250,000
- Taiwan authorities reported that Typhoon Morakot damaged more than 130 roads and 68 bridges, cut off safe drinking water to an estimated 850,000 households, and left 130,000 households without power. As reported by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the most affected areas include Gaoxiong, Pingtung, and Tainan counties in southern Taiwan.
- According to the USAID/OFDA regional advisor, approximately 4,000 displaced people received assistance in collective centers at the height of the emergency. As of August 16, an estimated 1,000 people remained in collective centers, as most typhoon-affected individuals were taking shelter with family and friends.
- On August 18, the USAID/OFDA regional advisor participated in an aerial assessment of Kaohsiung, the most affected county. The regional advisor reported that Taiwan authorities plan to reopen road access to affected areas in seven days. Nine bridges and several kilometers of roads remain impassable.
- The USAID/OFDA regional advisor reported on August 16 that the Taiwan military had deployed teams to rural villages in affected areas to support the local distribution of emergency relief supplies. In addition, an estimated 5,000 Taiwan military staff and volunteer organizations are assisting with immediate cleanup activities, including land clearance. Taiwan authorities are focusing on cleanup, recovery, and rehabilitation efforts.
- To support search and rescue efforts, the TRCO has deployed more than 200 volunteers to assist local authorities in Tainan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. The Taiwan military has also provided 70 helicopters to support evacuations and search and rescue operations.
USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
- On August 9, following initial reporting by AIT, USAID/OFDA provided $250,000 through AIT to support the relief efforts of the TRCO. A USAID/OFDA regional advisor is currently in country working closely with the TRCO, local government officials, the Taiwan military, and DoD officials. The regional advisor is assessing the extent of the damage in affected areas, identifying additional assistance requirements, and coordinating USG assistance efforts.
- On August 15 and 16, DoD delivered 517,420 water purification tablets and 120 rolls of plastic tarpaulin donated by the DoD via two C-130 cargo planes for distribution to typhoon-affected populations. PACOM is also providing air assets, including two heavy-lift helicopters that are transporting excavation equipment, and two helicopters from the ship U.S.S. Denver on stand-by in the event that additional transportation of relief supplies and personnel is needed.