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台灣歷史上的八七水災
The Floods of 1959

戴寶村 /Tai Pao-Tsun
(中央大學歷史研究所教授)
(Professor, Central University Graduate School of History)

2001-08-06


Houses were destroyed

從歷史的脈絡來看,台灣不是『寶島』而是
『災難之島』,命運多舛與其所居位置有關
。台灣的地理位置特殊,常飽受『人禍』與
『天災』的威脅,由於坐落於西太平洋極重
要的經濟、戰略以及交通樞紐的地位,使之
成為列強覬覦的目標,因此在歷史上,台灣
的統治者經常更替;同時居於環太平洋火山
地震帶及颱風經常過往的位置,更使台灣不
時遭受老天爺無情的摧殘。1999年的921大地
震造成重大傷亡,民眾記憶猶新;歷年颱風
所造成的『作大水』(水災)毀屋斷樹、奪
走人命。本週「台灣歷史之窗」特別邀請中
央大學歷史研究所戴寶村教授執筆,由四十
餘年前的一場大水災談起,述說台灣人民與
政府面對這場災難時,為保護與維繫家園所
做的種種努力。


From a historical context, Taiwan is more of a "Natural
Disaster Island" than an "Ilha Formosa." There have been
many disasters over the years resulting from its
geographical location. Taiwan has a very special
geographical position, and is often threatened by
both man-made and natural disasters, thanks to its
location at the hub of major trade, strategy and
communications in the western Pacific, which makes
it an attractive target for the world's great powers.
For these reasons, the rulers of Taiwan been frequently
replaced in history; at the same time, its location on
the circum-Pacific seismic belt, frequently visited by
typhoons, means that Taiwan is often treated mercilessly
by the forces of nature. The 9-21 earthquake of 1999,
still fresh in people's minds, inflicted serious
casualties; and over the years, floods created by
typhoons have destroyed homes and natural vegetation,
and taken human life. This week's Window on Taiwan is
written by Professor Tai Pao-Tsun of Central University's
Graduate School of History. He writes of floods which
occurred over 40 years ago, and recounts how the people
and government of Taiwan worked to safeguard their homes
in the face of this natural disaster.

台灣戰後僅次於九二一大地震的災難

台灣現代史上最嚴重的八七水災發生於1959
年8月7日,日本南方海面的艾倫颱風把東沙
島附近的熱帶低壓引進臺灣,使得中南部豪
雨成災。專家研判造成重大災情的原因一方
面與連續不斷的豪大雨、台灣本身的地形地
質先天不良有密切的關係,另一方面則是當
時的訊息流通管道不足、缺乏環境保護及防
災觀念,因而使得災況更為慘重。八七水災
所造成災情的範圍相當廣泛,遍佈台灣十三
個縣市,尤其以苗栗、台中、南投、彰化、
雲林、嘉義等六縣及台中市受災最為嚴重,
當時人口數約佔台灣總人口數的38%,為台
灣的主要農業區域。暴雨集中在8月7至9日三
天,所及區域幾乎包含台灣整個西部,而以7
日的降雨量最多。據學者指出此次日雨量超
過500公釐者達15處之多,主要的暴雨中心集
中在苗栗、豐原、芬園、烏溪上游、斗六與
阿里山等處。


Second only to the 9-21 disaster in post-war Taiwan

The most serious floods to hit Taiwan in modern times
occurred on August 7, 1959. Typhoon Ellen formed in
the seas south of Japan, and brought a tropical
depression from around the Pratas Islands to Taiwan,
causing torrential rains in south and central Taiwan
which then created flooding. Experts concluded that
the factors that created such a massive disaster were
on the one hand intimately connected with the continuous
torrential downpours, and Taiwan's unfortunate natural
landforms and geology, and on the other, with the
insufficient communications networks and channels of
the time, and the paucity of environmental protection
and disaster prevention concepts. As a result, the
aftermath of the disaster was particularly grisly. The
flood area of the August 7 floods was fairly extensive,
covering 13 Taiwanese counties and cities, and the six
counties of Miaoli, Taichung, Nantou, Changhua, Yunlin
and Chiayi, and Taichung City in particular were
severely affected. Back then, this area contained 38%
of the entire population, and was Taiwan's major
agricultural region. Rainstorms raged for three days,
from August 7 to August 9, covering almost the entire
western region, with the heaviest rainfall coming on
the 7th. Scholars show that there were 15 places where
the rainfall on that day exceeded 500 millimeters, and
the storms were centered in Miaoli, Fengyuan, Fenyuan,
the upper reaches of the Wu River, Touliu and Alishan.

A road completely destroyed

這場突如其來的災害共造成667人死亡、408
人失蹤、942人受傷,各地哀鴻遍野,災民經
政府予以收容者竟高達30萬人以上,是台灣
戰後僅次於九二一大地震最嚴重的災情。在
房屋受災方面,房屋全倒共計有27466間,半
倒者18303間。農、林、漁、牧業均損失慘重
,光是農地損失其總面積便高達136,542公頃
。在交通方面,鐵、公路嚴重癱瘓,鐵路受
災297處,而公路更高達476處之多。而在電
信與電力方面,其所帶來的大停電及通訊中
斷更是可想而知。公共設施如學校、衛生所
、醫院等也均遭波及。據官方統計,損失高
達三十五億元以上,約佔當時國民所得的11%
,對當時的台灣造成嚴重的打擊。


This sudden, unexpected disaster claimed 667 lives.
Another 408 people went missing, 942 people were injured,
and there was widespread suffering and unhappiness. All
in all, over 300,000 disaster victims were given temporary
accommodation by the government. The disaster was second
in severity only to the 9-21 earthquake in Taiwan's
post-war period. The eventual figure for homes destroyed
by the disaster was 27,466, and another 18,303 homes
were partially destroyed. Farming, forestry and fishing
all suffered heavy setbacks, and a total of 136,542
hectares of farmland alone were destroyed. Railways
and roads were severely paralyzed. The railways were
struck in 297 different places, and roads in 476. One
can well imagine the power cuts and communications
breakdowns that disrupted telecommunications and
electricity. Public facilities such as schools, public
sanitation facilities and hospitals were all disrupted.
According to official statistics, over NT$3.5 billion
of losses were incurred, 11% of the national income at
the time, which was a grave blow to Taiwan.

台灣人集體的受難記憶

攤開當時的報紙,可以更進一步的感受到受
災者的心情。最常看到的是暴雨淹沒家園、
親友被淹死的悲痛描述,「在水中站在屋頂
上的人只能眼睜睜地看著大水沖倒房子」、
「左鄰右舍六戶十一人僅我一人漂流得救,
因此撰寫此文,以致哀痛」。死傷者是可憐
的,可是活著的親人更是不能自己,為了在
災區的家人,即使各道路中斷,也要想盡辦
法、跋山涉水,親眼見到一面,只是「幾家
安慰、幾家愁」,這是全臺灣人的受難記憶


Taiwan's collective memory of the disaster

Open a newspaper of the time, and you can feel the
mood of the disaster victims even more clearly. The
most common sight is homes flooded by the storms,
descriptions of the pain of seeing relatives and
friends drowned, "People standing on the rooftops of
their submerged houses can only look on helplessly as
the waters rise," "Of the six houses and 11 people
here, only I was rescued from the waters, so I'm
writing this, and it sorrows me deeply." The dead were
to be pitied, but the relations that survived were even
more helpless, and in order to reach their family in
the disaster areas, even though all the roads were
impassable, they tried their utmost to find a way to
get to them, and see with their own eyes that there
were only "a handful of households to be comforted, a
few households to worry about." It's the recollection
of the disaster by people from all over Taiwan.

Urgent road rebuilding

救災工作之進行與救濟辦法之擬定

由於大雨仍持續狂瀉,交通、電信中斷,使
得救災工作進行得十分艱辛,然而龐大的災
民救濟與安頓及災後衛生與復建等問題均是
政府刻不容緩的任務。因此政府除動員龐大
國軍參與救災工作外,也依據〈國民義務勞
動法〉投入上百萬的民眾參與救災及重建工
作,同時成立臨時收容所,而收容所除包含
公共處所外,地勢較高的學校,甚至如當時
的台中菸廠,也被作為臨時收容災民的地方



Due to the continuous violent flow of rain, transport
and communications were disrupted, making disaster
relief work extremely difficult to carry out.
Nevertheless the government immediately set to work
arranging relief for disaster victims, and sanitation
repairs and rebuilding work. So apart from mobilizing
large numbers of troops to participate in the disaster
relief work, the government also added over a million
volunteers from the general public in accordance with
the National Voluntary Labor Law to help with disaster
relief and reconstruction work. At the same time,
temporary shelters were set up, which offered not
only accommodations but also schools on higher,
non-flooded land. Even places such as the Taichung
Tobacco Factory were used as temporary accommodation
for the disaster victims.

另一方面,省府依據〈台灣省人民因災死傷
及住屋倒塌救濟辦法〉撥發救濟金給災民。
死亡者每人發給1000元、失蹤者700元、重傷
者500元、住屋全倒者每戶400元、半倒者每
戶200元。當時的友邦美國則提供近千萬新台
幣予以協助,除200萬元用於災區醫療衛生外
,其餘轉發災民,其撥發標準,為省府撥發
金額的半數,並提供救濟物資『麵粉』,規
定十歲以上的災民每人可領兩袋,未滿十歲
每人一袋(每袋22公斤),由於『體貼』的
考慮到台灣人吃不慣麵食,以及怕國人因此
將救濟物資轉賣,而將原來的麵粉半數改發
食米。島內各界及海外僑胞均捐贈賑災物資
,紛紛湧向災區希望能協助災民重建,不僅
發揮了人溺己溺的人性關懷,而且透過此次
受難經驗,更積極的凝聚了為家園奮鬥的重
生力量。


On the other hand, the provincial government used the
Taiwan Province Measures to Aid Families who have
Suffered Deaths and Loss of their Homes as a Result
of the Disaster to allot relief funds to the disaster
victims. NT$1000 was given for a death, NT$700 for a
missing person, NT$500 for injury, NT$400 to each
household where the dwelling had been completely
destroyed, NT$200 for a half-destroyed dwelling.
The U.S., at that time still a diplomatic ally,
provided nearly NT$10 million in aid, and apart
from NT$2 million which was used for medical
treatment and sanitation works in the disaster
areas, the rest of the money was turned over to
the disaster victims. The provincial government
handed over half of the money, and also provided
wheat flour relief goods. The rules were that each
disaster victim over the age of 10 years could have
2 sacks of flour, while those under 10 years got
one sack (each sack weighed 22 kilos). Although this
gift of flour was kind and thoughtful, back in those
days, people Taiwan weren't used to cooking with
wheat flour, and as the government feared that
people would just re-sell these relief goods, half
of the flour was replaced with rice. People all
over Taiwan, as well as many Taiwanese living
overseas, donated goods for the disaster-stricken,
and these poured into the disaster areas, as people
expressed their wishes to help the disaster victims
rebuild. It was more than just human compassion for
the dead, the fact that the country had gone through
this experience together further strengthened and
resolved the fight for the country.

Restoring public sanitation works

由於天災受害面積廣泛且嚴重,政府依據〈
動員戡亂時期臨時條款〉規定頒佈〈總統緊
急處分令〉。依照此法令,得以增減預算、
限制國民消費、開增稅捐及發行儲蓄卷等,
另外,對於與救災復健有關事宜,也可便宜
行事。在開增稅捐方面,附增『水災復興建
設捐』、營利事業所得稅附加15%、綜合所得
稅附加30%、屠宰稅附加30%、娛樂稅以台北
、台中、台南、基隆、高雄等五縣市電影票
為限,每張戲票加1至2元、宴席稅附加30%、
地價稅與田賦皆附加40%,房屋、證照、貨物
稅等亦附加30%,而公有及私用小客車、電費
、電話費、鐵公路票價亦一併附加『水災復
興建設捐』。在發行儲蓄卷方面,『八七災
區復興建設有獎儲蓄卷』由台灣銀行發行,
前後共十二期。每張的面額10元,每期開獎
,特獎獎金高達40萬元,借此募集資金。


Because of the severity of this disaster, and the
wide area it covered, the government used the
Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period
of Communist Rebellion to promulgate the President's
Emergency Disciplinary Action Order. In accordance
with this law, tasks such as increasing or decreasing
the budget, limiting national expenditure, levying
taxes and selling savings bonds, etc., and also
arrangements to do with post-disaster reconstruction,
could be handled inexpensively. Where levying taxes
was concerned, a "flood reconstruction tax donation"
of 15% was added onto business tax, 30% was added to
general income tax, 30% was added to animal slaughtering
tax, and entertainment tax in the five cities of Taipei,
Taichung, Tainan, Keelung, and Kaohsiung was limited to
cinema tickets, where each ticket price was increased
from NT$1 to NT$2. Restaurant tax was increased by 30%,
land value tax and agricultural land tax were both
increased by 40%, property, securities and commodities
tax were all increased by 30%, and both public and
private buses, electricity rates, telephone rates and
railway tickets had a "flood reconstruction tax
donation" added. The Bank of Taiwan put on sale
"August 7 Disaster Area Reconstruction Prize Draw
Savings Bonds" for a period of 12 weeks following
the disaster. The bonds were sold in denominations
of NT$10, and each week there was a prize draw, with
a top prize of NT$400,000, and in this way funds were
raised.

由災難中粹練出的意志與相互扶持的認同感

四十幾年過去了,台灣似乎逐漸走出八七水
災的陰影。但是這四十年之中,台灣不斷地
在新的災難下,救災與重建。動員龐大人力
物力投入救災行列,覓集一切資源從事復建
工作,喚回不了一條條寶貴的生命。災害來
臨之後的復甦,遠比不上災害來臨前的預防
。多災多難的台灣,我們擁有太多的慘痛經
驗、借鏡及教訓,如果還不能亡羊補牢,將
一次次的災難化險為夷,那麼再多的災難記
憶,也無濟於事。台灣,在災難中粹煉人們
相互扶持的認同感,讓大家一起同舟共濟,
共同維繫及珍惜我們的家園。


The mutual support and feelings of identification
which emerged from this disaster

Over 40 years have passed, and Taiwan seems to have
come out of the shadow of the August 7 floods. But
in these forty-odd years, Taiwan has continually found
itself amid new natural disasters, and related relief
efforts and reconstruction. Vast legions of volunteers
have been mobilized for relief efforts, and resources
have been marshaled for reconstruction work, but human
lives, once lost, cannot be brought back. Recovery
following disasters is nothing like as good as
prevention carried out before disaster strikes. We in
Taiwan have suffered so many disasters, and we've gone
through too much bitter suffering. We need to learn
from past experience, and while we cannot close the
stable door after the horse has bolted, if we cannot
learn to head off disasters, then all these memories
of past disasters are of no help at all. From these
disasters come mutual support and feelings of
identification. Let us realize that we are all in the
same boat, and let's take care of our country together.

Edited by Tina Lee/ translated by Elizabeth Hoile
李美儀編輯/何麗薩翻譯
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