Mon, Sep 15, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Sinlaku injures 17, becomes tropical storm

LINGERING While damage was relatively minimal, the agricultural sector suffered NT$114 million in losses and the Howfeng Bridge in Taichung County collapsed

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH DPA

Heavy rain brought by Typhoon Sinlaku pummeled the nation yesterday, causing injuries and disrupting traffic nationwide.

The National Disaster Protection and Prevention Commission reported yesterday that 17 people were injured and two were missing. More than 1,000 people were temporarily placed in shelters.

About 18,000 households were without electricity, while 800 households had no water.

The Council of Agriculture said agricultural damages had exceeded NT$114 million (US$3.57 million). As many as 200 rivers were listed as “alerts” for flooding.

All schools and businesses were expected to return to normal today, except for Jenai (仁愛), Hsinyi (信義) Kuohsing (國姓) and Yuchih (魚池) townships in Nantou County, Alishan Township (阿里山) in Chiayi County and Heping (和平) Township in Taichung County.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that road sections on 13 provincial and county highway were damaged. Seventeen sections had been repaired as of 2pm yesterday, while six sections will not be fixed until next week.

Howfeng Bridge (后豐大橋), connecting Howli (后里) and Fengyuan (豐原) in Taichung County, collapsed yesterday, causing three cars to fall into the Dachia River and to be washed away.

Uni Air canceled all of its flights between Taipei and Matsu. Flights from both China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines were delayed.

The Taiwan Railway Administration canceled its service before 12pm but resumed services yesterday afternoon.

After lingering off the east coast for a day, Sinlaku finally made landfall at 1:50am in Ilan County yesterday.

Tsai Fu-dien (蔡甫甸), a section chief at the Central Weather Bureau, said the typhoon remained stationary from 2pm to 5pm, when it moved off the coast.

At 7pm, the center of Sinlaku was 40km northwest of Keelung. It was moving northeast at a speed of 7kph with a radius of 250km.

Foehn winds were reported in the Taitung County, which continued for at least 18 hours.

Shipanlong (石磐龍) in Chiayi County had experienced the biggest accumulation of rain as of press time, topping 1,158mm. It was followed by Taipingshan (太平山) in Ilan County and Niaotsuishan (鳥嘴山) in Hsinchu County, with 1,028mm and 1,011mm respectively. The bureau estimated that rain in Chiayi may have exceeded 1,500mm.

Tsai said that because the typhoon lingered off the north coast for more than six hours, the continuous interaction between the typhoon’s circumfluence and the landforms had caused the rainfall in the central and southern Taiwan to increase drastically.

Sinlaku was expected to leave the nation by this evening.

CHINA

Meanwhile, a typhoon warning was sounded by officials for China’s eastern coast, leading to the evacuation of about 170,000 people yesterday.

Chinese media said Sinlaku could pummel Fujian and Zhejiang provinces with strong winds and torrential rains.

In Fujian, more than 30,000 fishermen were called into port, and all schools have been ordered closed for the next two days.

Flood warnings were issued for Zhejiang where waves of up to 6m were expected.

Sinlaku was downgraded to a tropical storm at 8pm last night.

This story has been viewed 3758 times.
TOP top