Another day of heavy rain across a swath of Taiwan yesterday deepened the nation's weather woes as a forecast called for yet more rain and a typhoon -- a combination likely to further aggravate flood damage and other weather-related problems.
Severe flooding wreaked havoc in the south as rescue workers scrambled to save lives and property. Receiving more than 1,000mm of rain in several days, Pingtung County is so far the hardest hit of the affected areas. The townships of Machia (
The Coast Guard Administration dropped food and supplies by helicopter to residents in remote Haocha Village (好茶), Pingtung County, after the Aboriginal community was cut off by landslides that knocked out roads and utilities.
PHOTO: FANG CHIH-HSIEN, TAIPEI TIMES
Parts of Kaohsiung City and County were also flooded yesterday, as firemen scrambled to pry free a gate to an underground parking lot in the city amid heavy rains that threatened to submerge the lot's vehicles. The city's Love River rose 100mm above its usual level as hundreds of millimeters of rain accumulated in the area.
TV footage yesterday showed residents from southern to central Taiwan in ankle or knee-deep water rushing to relocate their first-floor belongings. Floodwater was up to the residents' waists in some places, such as Paoan Village (
Damage to agriculture has already led to a 20 to 30 percent increase in the price of locally grown fruit and vegetables, SET TV reported.
Chiayi County Commissioner Chuo Po-yuan (
Chuo called on the Council of Agriculture to compensate farmers for their losses and consider emergency response measures, the Central News Agency reported.
The Ministry of Finance, meanwhile, announced that damage to property suffered after heavy rains could be included as a tax write-off.
Flooding in townships across Kaohsiung County abated yesterday, with residents emerging from their homes to assess the damage. Affected by its worst flooding in 30 years, roads in the popular Hakka tourist township of Meinung (
Nearly 3,000 tourists stranded on Green Island, Taitung County, for several days because of rough seas finally boarded ferries yesterday after the waters calmed.
Meanwhile, located 1,150km southeast of Taiwan and moving at 13kph, Typhoon Sepat is expected to continue moving toward the nation, the Central Weather Bureau said.
The typhoon is expected to continue gathering strength on its approach, the bureau said.
The bureau is waiting until tomorrow before predicting if Sepat will make landfall on Taiwan. But it said that the typhoon would bring more rain until at least Monday regardless of its course.
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
INCURSION: After 13 PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ, the US Department of State said that China should rather ‘engage in meaningful dialogue’ with Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue. The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. The air force scrambled fighter jets to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets until the planes left the ADIZ. The US “notes
‘INCREASED VIGILANCE’: A source of infection has not yet been found for the latest two cases in a hospital cluster, which should serve as a warning, Chen Shih-chung said A total of 2,991 people associated with a COVID-19 cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital have been put under home isolation, after an emergency expanded isolation order was issued on Sunday evening, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Fifteen people have so far tested positive in the cluster infection. The first case in the cluster (case No. 838) was reported on Jan. 12 — a doctor who treated an infected patient who had returned from the US. Contact tracing for the first 13 cases found connections to case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who
CHANGE OF GUARD: Hsiao Bi-khim’s attendance at Joe Biden’s inauguration will come as a boost to those in Taiwan who feared that the new US administration would be less friendly than that of Donald Trump to the nation Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to attend US President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the US Capitol after she was invited by the US Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a news release issued by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US said last night. The news came as a surprise as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been reticent about the matter, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members had accused the Democratic Progressive Party administration of hedging its bets on the Republican Party. Asked about when Hsiao received the invitation, the ministry did not