Photographs and Information about Taiwan's Culture, Nature and People by Rich Matheson

Morakot Pictures with Comments

Didn’t have time to put comments with the photos last post, so will re-post with comments. If you don’t want comments and want quicker loading pictures, click here.

01Eric, Richard and Wanee with a truck of supplies for Namasia. We took three truck loads up from Tainan and still have lots of stuff to bring up. Access is limited so it is now being stored in Jiashen. A jeep club from Taipei or blue trucks will take it the rest of the way.02This is number 21 coming into Jiashen. I only drive this route when my preferred #20 from Tainan is typhoon damaged, so don’t really know what it should be like. It seems to me it was trashed much the same by Kalmaegi.03Typhoon Sinlaku knocked out the Jiashen bridge in September last year and the Baolung Bridge provided the only access to Jiashen via the Baolung Temple road. A makeshift pipe bridge was built, which was later replaced by what is left of the bridge above. Now we are back to a pipe bridge.  Strange the much longer Baolung bridge doesn’t wash out. I’ve heard the Jiashen bridge was shoddily built and lots of money was skimmed during that project. Nothing new here.04This is the second bridge out of Jiashen, the first is still out. This bridge was fairly new and looking at the height of the typhoon wash (just out of the picture), I am amazed it is still standing. The part that was washed away wasn’t bridge but just elevated land. From where they have started piling dirt to fix the bridge used to be banana fields on the close side and mangos on the far side. A big chunk of orchard was washed away there and there are remnants of a farmshed in the near left. We are up above on the old road which had been closed for a number of years.14I had been lulled by the relatively small amount of damage I had seen in the day. This view of the Hsiaolin slide from Wulipu made my stomach turn. There used to be a nice green mountainside. There is a lot of mountain missing here.05Soggy ghost money smoulders for the approximately424 villagers of Hsiaolin Village that are buried under five stories of mud and rock. There were about 200 houses here before Typhoon Morakot.06I had been hearing about the stench of death in the slide areas and on the drive from Chishan had smelt patches of death here and there. Was expecting to smell it here, but instead there was a fresh ‘Kuai Mu‘(can’t remember the tree’s name offhand) smell.07New life on the riverbed.08Looks like lots of new slides in the left background.09Looking up the valley towards Namasia. The Hsiaolin Tunnel seems to be intact10An enlargement to show the tunnel and part of the road. It’s hard to get bearings in this wasteland but my guess is the pipeline was in front of the hump on the left.11There were very few remnants of the village. Here is part of an urn. There was a quaint temple dedicated to the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven(玄天上帝) in the middle of town. Maybe it is from there.12Another view of the slide.13The end of the road. From here the road used to continue downhill for a bit, cross a bridge over a small river with remnants of an older bridge upriver (which was washed away earlier this year by Kalmaegi). The road continued downhill and towards the river before winding around a hill and a small earth god temple and levelling out into the main drag. Now it is all buried beneath five stories of mud and rock.15looking up at the road from below.16Locals burn ghost money.17The worst damage between Yushan Village and Jiashen was at the turnoff to Guanshan village at the Tainan-Kaohsiung border. Route 179, now the only route to Namasia, can be seen top right. 18Jianghuangken Village’s Chingshan temple behind a condemned house.19Jianghuangken Village was badly buried by mud and rock slides. Fortunately the village was largely evacuated beforehand.

3 responses

  1. Excellent work, powerful pictures.

    September 11, 2009 at 11:33 pm

  2. Thanks, Craig.

    September 12, 2009 at 2:19 am

  3. Kuai Mu is a type of camphor tree.

    Your site is fantastic and the photos are gorgeous! I’ll look around some more!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

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