Namasia, highway 21. One of the many collapsed bridges is still being rebuilt

The Road to Recovery

In 2009, Taiwan’s deadliest typhoon in recorded history brought total devastation to the Namasia area of Kaohsiung County.

The road linking Namasia with the rest of Taiwan was completely destroyed. In a matter of minutes, highway 21 was turned into an untraversable pile of rocks and mud.

This left the people stranded and made the relief and recovery effort even more difficult.

In addition to this, came the most tragic result of the lethal super storm – the burying of an entire village and all its inhabitants under mud and rocks. The village of Xiao Lin had been right on the edge of the ill-fated highway. Now after 5 years of building works, the road through Namasia is finally back up and running, but locals still live in fear because every time it rains heavily here, the road floods again.

A lot of sections of the road are still temporary and many bridges are only half-built. With the rainy summer season just around the corner, Namasia locals are holding their breath; no one knows for sure how this improved but unfinished highway will hold up when the next typhoon strikes.

Camera: Leica M-E
Lens: Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2


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