The 9/21 earthquake in Taiwan: A local government disaster rescue system

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper employs a three-element model to examine how the disaster rescue system of the government of Nantou County in Middle Taiwan functioned following the earthquake of 21 September 1999. The three elements are information gathering, local government mobilisation, and inter-organisational cooperation. The paper finds that the Nantou County government needs to address many problems associated with these three elements. Disaster information, for example, was not processed instantly because of the destruction of the electricity and telephone systems in the earthquake. Insufficient information caused ineffectiveness in the realms of mobilisation and inter-organisational cooperation. As for mobilisation, while the Nantou County magistrate successfully used specific information to encourage flows of huge resources in the county, he did not successfully mobilise human resources there. With regard to inter-organisational cooperation, myriad voluntary actors and international rescue teams travelled to Nantou County, but the fire and police services experienced cooperation and coordination problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-136
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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