Mon, Jul 12, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Water supplies in central Taiwan should be normal

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

State-run Taiwan Water Supply Corp (自來水公司) said yesterday that the water supply in the Taichung area was to be fully restored by midnight yesterday.

Water supplies to the area have been on a rotating basis since last Monday -- two days on and four days off -- after the floodwaters brought by Tropical Storm Mindulle clogged dam drains in the Deji Reservoir (德基水庫) in Taichung County, and damaged a sluice gate at Li Yu Tan Reservoir (鯉魚潭水庫) in Miaoli County last week. Li Yu Tan Reservoir supplies water to 4 million households in central Taiwan.

The government has mobilized military units to clear driftwood from dam drains, which could slow drainage of water from reservoirs if another typhoon lashes the country. The water level at the Deji Reservoir in central Taiwan has dropped to 1,407m. A level greater than 1,411m is a safety risk, the government said.

Residents, as well as Largan Precision Co (大立光電) and about 1,300 other companies located in central Taiwan, have faced water shortages over the incident.

Wang Ling-teh (王令德), director of Taiwan Water Supply's public relations section, said that the company has opened the sluice gate of the reservoir and started supplying water yesterday afternoon. After fixing other facilities, the water supply in the region should be back to normal as of midnight yesterday, Wang said.

Water supplies to the area were to rise to about 117 tonnes by yesterday afternoon, however, there were still 192,734 households in the Taichung, Nantou and Changhwa areas short of water, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a faxed statement.

The ministry also updated the latest death toll figure, which rose to 29, with 12 other people still missing, after the tropic storm made landfall last week.

Electricity has been restored to 213,461 users with about 92 households in the nation's central mountains still without power.

Meanwhile, the prolonged rains also devastated crops, amassing losses in the agricultural sector to NT$9.7 billion as of yesterday, the ministry said.

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