Introduction

Taiwan is located on the edge of Eurasian Sea Plate and Philippine Sea Plate. The maximum length and the average width of Taiwan is about 395 kilometers and 144 kilometers respectively. And the total area is about 36,000 km2. The mountains in Taiwan are high and steep, and the terrain is highly variable, as well as the elevations. (Taiwan’s highest point is Yu Shan, also called Jade Mountain, which is at 3,952 meters) In Taiwan, the plains are narrow, which is only occupied with one-third of Taiwan. Earthquakes occur frequently in Taiwan. The rainy season in Taiwan is caused by rainfall along a persistent stationary front between spring and summer; and typhoons are influencing Taiwan mostly in the summer and autumn. The annual average rainfall is more than 2,500mm.

There is abundant rainfall in Taiwan; there are many rivers in Taiwan. Variable rainfall duration and intensity leads to floods and debris flow disasters. Since the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake (ML=7.3) occurred, the frequency of the disasters, which are caused by landslides, complex landslides, debris flows and soil erosion, has increased more than before.

In order to prevent life and economic losses due to landslide, complex landslide,debris flows and soil erosion, the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau ( SWCB) has aimed at debris flow disaster management and early warning operations and begun the construction of debris flow monitoring station and Formosa Emergency Management Action System (FEMA) since 2000, Furthermore, satellite imagery, geographic information, high-end communications and sophisticated monitoring technologies have been implemented and integrated in the system. Meanwhile, the SWCB is keen on the international exchanges for debris flow disaster prevention.

The four stages of disaster preparations are mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. As the old saying “ prevention is better than cure,” the SWCB has set up a website for the adult, and the children to enhance debris flow disaster education.. The life and economic losses can be reduced by building the public awareness of disaster prevention.

There are many countries like Taiwan have suffered from debris flow disasters, such as China, Japan, Philippines, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. The SWCB has been working on debris flow disaster management, education promotion and early warning operations for a decade, the websites mentioned above have been builded as on line platforms for debris flow disaster prevention in order to share information with the counties suffered from disaster, the scholars, the specialists and those who want to learn more about debris flow disaster.