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Ko apologizes for handling of typhoon

Ko apologizes for handling of typhoon

Ko apologizes for handling of typhoon

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je apologized Saturday for his government’s shortcomings in handling the aftermath of last weekend’s Typhoon Soudelor.
The outspoken mayor had come under fire on several fronts, with critics blaming him for allowing the distribution of tap water that was allegedly too turbid for consumption and attacking his administration for being too slow in clearing the thousands of fallen trees and branches.
At a water conservation event hosted by environmental groups Saturday, Ko admitted he had been spending the morning reflecting about the case. Criticizing other people would not improve oneself, he said, so he would look and see what kind of things about himself he could change. “If something is wrong, it’s wrong, and if the results are no good, we apologize,” Ko said.
Even though he was traveling to Shanghai for a high-profile forum next week, the city government would still complete and publish a new set of standard operating procedures to handle problems caused by typhoons, he said.
Key issues included how to handle tap water, according to the mayor. When tap water turned out to be turbid and yellowish for several days after the typhoon, the central government accused the city of having allowed dirty water from the Nanshi Creek to be used for purification at the Feicui Reservoir. Ko struck back by accusing others of having created the problem by allowing unbridled development along the creek.
In the wake of the problem, some parts of New Taipei City and Taoyuan City went without any tap water for many hours in a successful attempt to get the water clean again.
The mayor said Saturday he would not go and blame water department officials for the problems.
Another typhoon might influence the weather in Taiwan around August 22, forecasters said.