Sun, Jul 10, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Premier pledges NT$300m typhoon relief

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:Taitung County, where more than 20,000 households were still without power yesterday, suffered losses amounting to NT$2 billion

Staff writer, with CNA

Premier Lin Chuan points at a plot of dragon fruit cactus plants in Taitung County yesterday as he inspects severe damage caused by Typhoon Nepartak on Friday.

Photo: CNA

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday visited Taitung County to inspect damage caused by Typhoon Nepartak and instructed the government to allocate NT$300 million (US$9.3 million) to assist with relief and reconstruction work in the southeastern county.

After arriving in Taitung, the worst-affected county, Lin met with soldiers who were assisting with relief and cleanup work, before visiting senior citizens who were relocated from a nursing home during the typhoon.

He then visited farms ravaged by Nepartak and spoke with farmers.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) shared photographs of soldiers cleaning up Taitung streets on Facebook, with a post saying: “Making a big effort to help people in Taitung rebuild their homes.”

As of noon yesterday, more than 20,000 Taitung households were still without power and about 8,000 were without water. Overall losses in Taitung amounted to about NT$2 billion, with agricultural losses surpassing NT$600 million.

The Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus said it would donate NT$500,000 to the Taitung County Government to assist with disaster relief.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it would donate NT$1 million to ensure the best care for people affected by Typhoon Nepartak, pledging to help residents with reconstruction work.

“Other than that, all of the cadres at the KMT’s headquarters and local branches will also donate one day’s wages in the hope that more people to follow suit … and help provide the best care for people affected by the typhoon,” KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said.

KMT Culture and Communications Committee director Chow Chi-wai (周志偉) said the party has also cooperated with private-sector organizations in shipping resources to Taitung residents, including furniture, mattresses, rice and cleaning products.

As the typhoon also caused extensive damage to agricultural products in the region, Chow said the KMT has asked the party’s county councilors to help farmers take photographs of their ruined crops and apply for compensation.

The Taitung County government is recruiting volunteers to assist with post-typhoon relief work, especially people who specialize in ironwork and carpentry. Volunteers can call the 1999 hotline in Taitung or leave their contact details on the Web site if they live outside of Taitung and would like to volunteer.

The county government said it is also in need of large machinery such as cranes and grab trucks. The machines are needed to pick up large objects, such as metal sign boards, that were knocked down during the typhoon.

At 2:30pm yesterday the Central Weather Bureau lifted a sea and land warning for Typhoon Nepartak, which swept through Taiwan on Friday, after it weakened and was downgraded to a tropical low pressure system as it exited the nation and moved toward China’s Fujian Province.

The warnings were issued on Wednesday as Nepartak approached Taiwan. The typhoon was the first to hit this year.

However, the bureau said that due to the low pressure and southwesterly winds, torrential rains are expected in Hualien and Pingtung counties even after the storm has moved away from Taiwan proper.

Some areas in Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and the outlying island of Kinmen could see heavy or torrential rains, while Yunlin County, mountain areas in eastern Taiwan and the outlying Penghu archipelago could also see rain.

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