Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Rain forces hundreds from homes in south, center

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

A firefighter helps a sick man surnamed Tsai, left foreground, to clamber across a collapsed section of road near Alishan in Chiayi County yesterday.

Photo: Hsieh Yin-chung, Taipei Times

Torrential rain caused landslides and road damage in several places in central and southern parts of the nation yesterday, forcing hundreds of people to seek temporary shelter.

The Greater Kaohsiung Government said 553 residents were evacuated from Jiasian (甲仙), -Liouguei (六龜) and other districts in the morning.

Four workers found trapped in shoals in Maolin District (茂林) were rescued at 10:15am.

About 300 residents of Wutai Township (霧台), Pingtung County, were trapped after the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) closed the Yila Bridge last night. About 200 residents of Sinyi Township (信義), Nantou County, were trapped as parts of their access road were destroyed by landslides.

Traffic on the Alishan Highway (Highway No. 18) in Chiayi County was suspended after heavy rain triggered landslides.

Central Weather Bureau statistics showed Alishan received 263mm of rainfall between 12am and 1:40pm — meeting the bureau’s benchmark for torrential rain.

The Alishan Highway reopened at 3:15pm after DGH workers succeeded in removing debris at the 71.1km and 72.15km landmarks.

However, the directorate was forced to close the section between 66.4km and 88.4km on the highway out of concern for more road damage as the rain goes on.

Thirteen high-risk road sections on Highways 20, 21 and 27, as well as on other county highways, also remained closed as of 6pm for safety reasons.

Bureau forecaster Lin Pin-yu (林秉煜) said rain would continue until tomorrow.

The bureau warned residents living in mountainous areas in Nantou and Chiayi, as well as in Greater Kaohsiung, to remain cautious, as chances of torrential rain today are high.

People living in the northern and northeastern regions, as well as the Hengchun Peninsula and plains in central and southern parts of the country, should also brace for heavy or extremely heavy rain, it said.

People planning to travel to Japan were advised to contact their airlines because Typhoon Ma-on is forecast to affect the weather in the region through tomorrow.

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