Published on 11/08/2023
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Komal Aryal, Aston University
  • Dr Komal Aryal has been supporting mountain tribal communities in Taiwan after a typhoon hit the country, causing US$15m of damage 
  • He has been working with various groups to aid civil disaster relief
  • Typhoon Khanun caused debris flows, floods and landslides that blocked transport links affecting thousands of farmers and hundreds of tourists.

Aston University crisis management expert Dr Komal Aryal has been helping a humanitarian effort in Asia following a typhoon. 

Dr Aryal was touching down in Taiwan as part of his holiday when heavy rain, in the wake of Typhoon Khanun, hit the mountainous areas of the country on Saturday 5 August 2023. 

The typhoon caused debris flows, floods and landslides that blocked transport links affecting over 22,000 mountain farmers and left hundreds of tourists stranded. It’s estimated around US$15m worth of damage has been done following the disaster.

Dr Aryal has been working with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) to manage a local humanitarian support camp based at the Wugong Village Puli Township and aid Taiwan's civil disaster relief.

He called on his expertise in crisis and disaster management to begin coordinating the humanitarian response to the typhoon, before meeting with the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, through the PCT at the local humanitarian response site. He has also helped in the clean-up at houses that have been affected by the typhoon-induced debris flow.

Dr Aryal said:

“As I was landing in Taiwan on Saturday night, a typhoon hit the country.

“The initial disaster incident report came to Taipei from a remote mountain location and my colleagues from PCT informed me about it, so I offered my help for the initial local humanitarian repose coordination and spontaneous volunteers management.

“Since then, I have helped to provided technical assistance to set up a local crisis/disaster/humanitarian coordination office and humanitarian logistic management system for immediate crisis response.

“It has provided me a great opportunity to transfer Aston University’s crisis and disaster management knowledge to real crisis and disaster situation to help mountain tribe communities in Taiwan.”

Dr Aryal has now returned to Taipei after handing over all the technical coordination to local experts.

Notes to Editors

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About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

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