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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Flooding in Valencia brings back typhoon memories of Taipei

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Flying Dutchman
For detailed biographical information, please check the very first article of this blog. Thanks!

While I was watching the storm that hit Valencia yesterday from my balcony around midnight, images of the many typhoons I experienced in Taiwan came to my mind.

The gusts of wind were pretty scary and reminded me of those scenes where the rain in Taipei was falling almost horizontally. We usually got a day off work and were not supposed to go outside at all.

Still, people who underestimated the forces of nature and didn’t listen to the official warnings regularly got killed by objects like advertisement boards flying around.

Although the stormy weather continued today, it wasn’t that bad here. Still, I was waiting for news about some serious consequences as the city is totally unprepared for a situation like this.

Well, this afternoon I received a forwarded message from somebody who saw how the manhole covers in a big avenue were pushed open by the huge amount of water that had nowhere else to go.

A friend who lives close by in an older house has three floors damaged by flooding. In Taipei I had rented a rooftop apartment and therefore I know exactly what she is going through.

Luckily, in Spain I live on the 6th floor of eight in total. From my front window I can see that a nearby street is almost submerged, though many cars are still using it due to a lack of alternatives.

What really makes me angry is the fact that the leftist city government keeps spending money on totally unnecessary projects like the botched remodeling of the town hall square and the bizarre new dunes on the local beach, but is incapable or unwilling to improve the sewage system.

It’s definitely not a budget problem, as there are always funds available for feminist, separatist or homosexual propaganda. According to the widespread “African” mentality, as it hardly ever rains in Valencia, no money needs to be spent on that. Let’s just assume that is never gets really messy…

After the big flood of October 1957, which devastated large parts of the city and caused the deaths of at least 81 people, the Spanish government under Generalissimo Francisco Franco (1892-1975) enacted the Plan Sur, which until 1973 rerouted the main river, the Turia.

I’m not sure if that gives most citizens a sense of false security. Well, this careless attitude is reflected in many patterns of behavior. Combined with the static nature of Spanish society, it results in a dangerous mixture.

In September 2001, strong Typhoon Nari killed over 100 people all over Taiwan, caused damages estimated at almost 450 million US dollars and even reduced the nation’s Gross National Product (GDP) by 0.2%.

The excellent metro system in Taipei was severely damaged and the main station only reopened that year around Christmas, actually months earlier than expected.

I really wonder how a country like Spain with its slow, inefficient and uncoordinated bureaucracy would deal with a comparable natural disaster. Though my experiences in two and a half years don’t give me a good feeling…

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