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Update on the Megi Aftermath: Mistakes and Progress

28 Oct 2010

After eight days of waiting for the search and rescue mission’s success, the families of mainland tourists still missing in the aftermath of Typhoon Megi held a news conference today to tearfully express their displeasure over the Taiwanese government’s flailing search and rescue efforts.

They announced that if the rescue workforce continued to prove inadequate, they themselves would conduct a search and rescue.  This afternoon, related government departments have held an information session discussing the current progress and listened to families’ requests and opinions.

Admittedly, there has been progress the last couple of days, but there are difficulties associated with the search and rescue at the disaster location, slowed by occasional landslides. The families should not have been allowed anywhere near the site, even if to prove the difficulties of the current mission.

The fire department did a good job correcting their mistake after letting a group of family members onto the site two days ago. According to the fire department deputy director, “One of them suddenly dashed emotionally to the cliff side. From now on, the section of the highway will be sealed off to family.”

Though a few days late, this has been one of the smartest decisions made throughout this ordeal. No matter how displeasured the families may be, the government needs to be smart about the decisions they are making in regard to the ongoing site management.

The families should be restricted from following through on their declaration for a private search and rescue mission. Instead, they should be made to wait. It is an issue of preservation: No more lives need to be lost, as the professional search team already finds itself in a dangerous situation. Most recently, a rescuer was injured, and may now require amputation.

[via Yahoo! Taiwan News, Article 2; translation by William Hsu]

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