Mon, Jul 15, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Soulik toll rises amid mass repair efforts

HEAVY LOSSES:In addition to claiming three lives, the powerful storm wrecked NT$369m worth of crops and cause NT$16m in damages to 237 schools nationwide

By Shelley Shan and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters, with CNA

Accusing Taipower of inefficiency in fixing the typhoon damage, Wu urged the central government to speed up the pace of recovery work.

“We understand that Taipower is fixing power outages, but it’s too slow. The government’s recovery efforts are not meeting public expectations,” he said.

Wu said that about 2,000 hectares of paddy rice and vegetable fields in Taoyuan had been affected.

He said Sinwu is considered one of the nation’s granaries as it has the largest cultivated area for paddy rice in the country, adding that the paddy rice crop is only one week away from harvest.

Ma also listened to a presentation given by the Agricultural and Food Agency, which showed that 178 hectares of paddy rice fields in Sinwu had been damaged.

Aside from drafting or purchasing machines to help salvage the remaining crops, the agency said that it has planned to subsidize farmers by providing NT$14,000 per hectare of paddy rice field based on the current standards.

However, farmers asked for a higher subsidy.

In addition to the ruined rice crops, Dayuan Township Mayor Lu Shui-tien (呂水田) said that most of the town has had no power for the past two days, making it impossible for farmers to dry unhusked rice that was harvested before the storm hit.

Ma asked the council to survey the losses around the nation as quickly as possible, simplify the procedure for farmers to apply for government subsidies and adopt more lenient standards to determine if subsidies should be given. The president also asked the officials to photograph damage to keep a record of it and restore the power supply as soon as possible.

Ma also asked the council and the county government to work together to help farmers who suffered huge financial losses, but may not be eligible for subsidies, by handling them as special cases.

The president vowed that the government would instruct Taipower to fix power outages more quickly.

Meanwhile, Premier Jiang Yi-huan (江宜樺) went to Greater Taichung and Yilan to inspect the damage.

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