Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Siaolin one month on.

One month on from Morakot, I helped some friend from Namasia to deliver supplies from Tainan to Jiasian - to be shuttled later by other vehicles into the mountains proper. We were invited to visit the site of the Siaolin landslide. I've seen some 'impressive' slides in the mountains of Taiwan, this one was still shocking in its scale.The one surviving house emphasized the awfulness of it all.
It felt appropriate to be there. In true Taiwanese fashion there were all sorts of people arriving and leaving. Here a family burns 'ghost money'. This is looking northwards up the valley from where Highway 21 comes to an end. This small stream, flowing westwards, is south of where the village used to be. Just about visible in the distance is one of the tunnels leading towards Namasia.

Tibetan prayer flags were still there from the Dali Lama's visit a week before.

It was somewhat eerie how much beautiful life there was around the edges - lots of butterflies and birds. On the landslide several scrawny dogs looked out for remains of food offerings to devour.

Jaisian Town, of taro snacks fame, looks battered, then again its bridges have been a mess for over a year now. It is the last properly functioning town in this area where highways 20 and 21 intersect. Further north and east things only get much worse.

Considering what has happened nearby, the roads from Cishan and Yujing are in reasonable condition. Several section are rough and may need four-wheel drive when wet.

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