Days of heavy rain continued to disrupt transportation nationwide as flights and train services were canceled or delayed because of landslides and blocked roads.
Sixty-seven tourists were stranded in hotels in a scenic area in Taichung, but a majority were able to leave by late afternoon when part of a provincial highway was opened to traffic.
For the second day in a row, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) reported train delays after landslide detectors installed along the railway banks went off in sections of Taoyuan County, Miaoli County and Taichung County, causing the bullet trains to slow down to 45kph because of safety concerns.
Affected passengers are entitled to claim a 50 percent refund if they arrive at their destinations more than half an hour late, the company said in a statement.
The Taiwan Railway Administration, on the other hand, reported that its services were running normally.
Stormy weather conditions caused the airport in Cimei (七美) in Penghu County to shut down all day yesterday.
Nangan Airport (南竿) in Matsu County was closed for two hours and reopened at 8:27am. Beigan Airport (北竿) in Matsu County did not start operations until 9:30am, but was forced to cancel all flights by 2pm owing to bad weather.
Daily Air Corp Flight No.7010 from Cimei to Kaohsiung was also canceled.
All international flights were operating normally yesterday.
As of press time, 12 of 24 damaged provincial highways and county roads had resumed partial operation. However, access to provincial highways No. 3, 6, 8, 9, 18, and 20 and County Road No. 80, 106, and 131 remained restricted.
Sixty-seven tourists were stuck in hotels in the Guguan (谷關) Scenic Area of Taichung County yesterday because of a string of landslides on Provincial Highway 8.
However, one lane on the highway was opened for two-way traffic and most of the tourists had left the area safely by yesterday afternoon.
The Central Emergency Operation Center cautioned residents of remote villages in Nantou and Taichung counties to beware of mudslides.
The water level of 41 creeks in Taichung and nine in Nantou counties have reached red alert status by the center's standard.
The Council of Agriculture estimated that as of yesterday 4pm, agricultural losses had reached NT$74.7 million.
Watermelon crops were the worst hit, while spring onions, fragrant melon, cabbage, winter melon and other crops had all suffered water damage, it said in a release yesterday.
The situation is serious enough to merit compensation to Miaoli's watermelon and fragrant melon farmers, it added.
Other areas affected include Changhua County, Taoyuan County and Taichung County to a lesser degree.
The Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that the stationary front would continue to bring heavy rains until Tuesday.
Skies will be overcast on Wednesday, with a high chance of afternoon thunderstorms in western and northeastern regions, it added.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ANGELICA OUNG
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