National Science & Technology Museum

Typhoons: The Morakot typhoon



  • Occurring on 5th August 2009, the Morakot typhoon was one of the largest typhoon recorded, with one of the largest destruction caused.
  • During the summer in July 2009, rainfall had only reached 57% of the historic average and reservoirs had only 30% of water left. Rivers began drying up and farmlands began cracking under the sun. Many were faced with drought and as their only source of water were the heavy rains and typhoon, hence many were actually looking forward to them.
  • The typhoon destroyed half a mountain, causing the firefighters to have to spend three days clearing out the area to reach the village. When they arrived, they discovered that the entire village had been destroyed, and so many people were dead that they simply placed flags to signify that whole families had died.
  • There was an area, which despite being hit by the typhoon very strongly, did not experience much damage. Due to being hit by a typhoon several years earlier, the townspeople had predicted that they would be hit by the Morakot Typhoon, and the town was evacuated early and there was a restriction preventing people from living there. This is an example of how land use regulation can help save lives in a natural disaster.
  • There were floods as deep as 2-story buildings
  • Xiaolin village was wiped out overnight. Large rocks falling onto the town from a nearby mountain caused massive damage to the village and blocked the dam from releasing its floodwater, causing the dam to overflow and further destroy and flood the village.
  • More than 600km of highways were destroyed and 16km road was broken into 48 parts.
  • The typhoon created the largest driftwood clusters recorded in history due to uprooting many trees
  • The total death toll is 699 people, with 4 severely injured
  • Over 11 countries and 175 townships were affected by the typhoon

Bridges in natural disasters
  • Bridges should be tall to avoid being destroyed by the raging waters. The tallest bridge built was 30m high.
  • Bridges should have very deep pillars to anchor the bridge down securely and prevent it from being washed away
  • Bridges should be wide to increase their cross-sectional area and thus increase their resistance to strain from the waters
  • Directly after the disaster, during emergency rescuing operations, shipping containers were used to reconstruct a certain highway 21, allowing construction time to reduce by ⅔.
Recovery progress/Rescue Efforts:
  • The residents used dredged sediments to build back fish farms and backfill farmland washed away by the floods.
  • Residents cleaned up the waterways by removing sediments to relieve floods.
  • By March 9th 2014, the truckloads of dredged sediments can go around the world 10.3 times.
  • Armed Forces mobilized all of their personnel and resources to help dig and rescue the victims
  • Helicopters were also used to send teams to rescue the survivors should the roads and bridges we destroyed
  • The Navy deployed amphibious vehicles that helped to transport equipment and supplies to disaster area in Tailung County.
  • Engineering Corps repaired the roads and bridges so that more help would reach the area.
  • Chemical Corps disinfected the disaster areas to prevent disease outbreaks.  
  • Planes with sonar ability were sent to detect lifeforms.
  • Rescue personnel, support machinery, air control. Body recovery, search and rescue (in the form of machines and special forces), infrastructure repair, air support and transport, sanitation, recovery and service and amphibious supply were all part of the recovery process of the typhoon
  • As of September 30th, as many as 564800 troops, 35527 vehicles and 5578 flights were committed to the rescue.



Technology Advancement
  • Due to the Apple industry being so popular, a company in Taiwan decided to copy its design, however, after being sued by the Apple for plagiarism, the company decided to go down their own path.
  • Companies tried various ways to make their wires thinner, flatter and allow it to hold more data, eventually allowing Taiwan to be the only country in the world to be able to produce 18 inch semi-conductors.
  • Taiwan produces 22% sound card,65% motherboard, 64% scanners, 38% network cards and 32% graphics cards of the world as of now.


Anti-gravity activities
  • Moon Walker
The Moon Walker was an interactive activity where we were strapped to a harness and machine, where we could jump higher than we normally could. This was to simulate the effect of gravity on the moon, where on the moon it is only 1.6 N/kg, but on earth it is 10 N/kg. This activity taught us about how jumping on the moon feels like and how it affects walking and jumping.

  • Flight Simulator
There were five seats in a row and we were strapped to a chair and we would move around. The documentary they showed us was very informative as it taught us more about the history of man learning flight. After the documentary, we took a “trip” through a foreign planet where carnivorous venus flytraps tried to eat us. That part was quite bumpy and we enjoyed it a lot.

  • Jet Simulator

In the jet simulator, we were seated in a realistic cockpit and we could control the plane using a joystick. The goal was to shoot the missile at the enemy plane. It was quite difficult to control the plane and this taught us that pilots really do have to go through a lot of training and have a lot of skill to be able to fly a plane.

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