The beauty and sorrow of the Southern Cross-Island Highway

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The National Southern Cross-Island Highway is quite possibly the most beautiful mountain road in Taiwan. With its sea of clouds, ancient forests, canyons, hot springs, and youth hostels, not to mention the beautiful virgin forest from Tianchih to Xiangyang, it’s a place that few people forget. Due of its high altitude, in summer, it is a favorite spot for viewing the breathtaking cloud formations and sea of clouds, whereas, in winter, one can gaze at the magnificent snowy peaks of Yushan and the three mountains of the Southern Cross-Island Highway.

 

However, flooding brought by Typhoon Morakot in 2009 inflicted severe damage to the stunning mountain scenery of the area. Despite the investment of billions of yuan by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications over the past nine years, frequent torrential downpours in the region have severely hampered any improvements. This long-term video record of the post-Morakot reconstruction efforts by residents, public works units, and construction workers, will hopefully remind the public that extreme weather and heavy rainfall are becoming the norm. Although this is a special case, it is incredibly indicative of modern trends, and if global warming cannot be stopped, the present sorrow of communities living along the National Southern Cross-Island Highway will be the reality we must all face in the future.

 

 

以下為中文對照

南橫是台灣最美的高山公路,雲海、神木、峽谷、溫泉、救國團山莊,是許多人難以忘懷的記憶。尤其天池到向陽間原始林遍布,因地處高海拔,夏季雲煙繚繞,不但是避暑勝地,也是觀雲海的熱門景點,冬季則可遠眺玉山和南橫三山的壯闊雪景。

 

但是南橫美麗的山景卻因八八水災而蒙塵,近九年來雖然交通部投入數十億元的經費重建,但是經常被突如其來的極端降雨打回原形。透過長期紀錄,呈現在地居民與工務單位和施工工人員,在八八後的努力與處境,希望透過本片提醒閱聽大眾,暖化下極端氣候的強降雨已是常態,南橫的災況雖是特例,但是卻極具指標性意義,如果暖化無法遏止,南橫的憂愁也將是我們日後必須面對的課題。

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The beauty and sorrow of the Southern Cross-Island Highway

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