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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Post-disaster relief to be made core military mission

ROC Central News Agency

2009/09/02 11:11:25

By Sofia Wu

Taipei, Sept.2 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) will list post-disaster rescue and relief as one of its core missions to enhance operational efficiency, an official said Tuesday.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission (NDPPC) under the Executive Yuan, which was held Monday to review the government's response to flooding and landslides unleashed by Typhoon Morakot.

The military was criticized for its lackluster response to the disaster as the storm wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan Aug. 7-9.

To establish a mechanism for the armed forces to take part in post-disaster rescue tasks in a timely manner, it was decided at the meeting that the MND should clearly make relief work one of its core missions, the official said.

In line with the change in its main missions, the military should also adjust its personnel deployment and training programs to reinforce its disaster response capacity, the official said.

Monday's meeting was presided over by Vice Premier Chiou Cheng-hsiung, who concurrently serves as NDPPC chairman.

It was also decided at the meeting that the criteria for flooding and mudslide alerts should be revised for situations in specific locations to allow for the timely evacuation of residents in case of emergency.

Meanwhile, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said Monday that the government will complete a comprehensive review of post-Morakot relief operations by the end of September.

As of Sept. 1, confirmed fatalities from the disaster had totaled 609, with 85 reported missing or unaccounted for, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.

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