TAIPEI — Taiwan’s air force on July 10 put into service three long-range helicopters intended to boost the typhoon-prone island’s rescue capabilities.
The three EC225 transport helicopters made by Eurocopter, a sister company to Europe’s Airbus, displayed their airlifting ability after a fly-by attended by President Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei.
“When serious natural disasters hit, the all-weather helicopters can provide greater rescue ability and thus effectively reduce possible losses,” the air force headquarters said in a statement.
While trying to upgrade its defenses against any threat from mainland China, Taiwan’s military has also stepped up training for handling natural disasters and complex crises.
Local media said last month that Taiwan had mobilized drone aircraft for the first time to survey natural disasters, monitoring areas that were inundated by flash flooding and mudslides sparked by a tropical storm.
In 2009 Typhoon Morakot triggered massive mudslides that left more than 600 people dead in Taiwan.