Taipei, Taiwan’s first foreign aid project centered on natural disaster prevention technology has passed its first test in Belize, giving people time to respond to floods caused by Hurricane Iota in November, an International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) official said Thursday.
The “Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention Plan” gave residents three extra hours to evacuate the area as floods triggered by the hurricane approached, said ICDF Deputy Secretary-General Chen Ai-chen (陳愛貞) at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference.
The ICDF is an aid organization headed by the foreign minister and partly funded by the government.
The project, launched by Taiwan in the Central American diplomatic ally in 2019 and expected to be completed in 2022, is focused on saving lives through technology that strengthens early flood warnings, updates maps, controls floods and raises disaster awareness.
The system relies on hydrological and meteorological monitoring stations that feed real-time information to a “Flood Warning System Platform.”
That information is then presented in graphics that give Belize’s Department of the Environment a clear picture of what is happening around the country, Chen said.
In the case of Hurricane Iota in November, when the water levels of nearby rivers rose above the warning level, an automatic warning was issued that triggered the three-hour evacuation order for residents of San Ignacio.
As a result, the city suffered limited damage from the floods caused by the hurricane’s heavy rains compared to other places affected by the storm, Chen said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel