A hovering front and southwesterly airstream yesterday dropped more than 600mm of rain over a few hours in the nation’s northern coastal regions, killing one person and injuring five as of 8pm, authorities said.
The New Taipei City Fire Department said the torrential downpour caused 12 roads in the city to be closed, as well as schools and businesses in Bali (八里), Jinshan (金山), Sanjhih (三芝), Shihmen (石門), Tamsui (淡水) and Wanli (萬里) districts, adding that 256 people were evacuated and 156 were displaced.
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and New Taipei City Department of Social Affairs Director Chang Chin-li (張錦麗) visited Mackay Memorial Hospital in Tamsui to offer their condolences to the family of the deceased.
Photo: Courtesy of a reader
Chu said he would authorize district and school administrators to decide when to reopen after assessing the situation.
The delay in closures triggered criticism from the public after the rain worsened, stranding many people.
Rainfall in Shihmen District measured 114mm per hour, nearly the national record of 128mm per hour in Alishan (阿里山), the city government said.
Photo: Courtesy of a reader
More than 185 areas nationwide reported flooding, while more than 10,000 households were left without electricity, officials said.
The Central Weather Bureau warned that the weather system would bring downpours nationwide, with torrential rain — accumulated rainfall of 350mm or more within 24 hours — or extremely torrential rain — 500mm or more over a 24-hour period — likely on the northern coast.
As of 4pm, accumulated rainfall in several districts of New Taipei City was classified as extremely torrential, reaching 643mm in Sanzhi, 630mm in Shihmen’s Fuguijiao (富貴角), 572.5mm in Jinshan’s Sanhe (三和) and 534mm in Jinshan, bureau data showed.
Photo courtesy of Keelung’s Zhongshan District Office
Elsewhere, accumulated rainfall totaled 428mm in Kaohsiung’s Taoyuan District (桃源) and 356mm in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投), it showed.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said that people in mountainous areas should be evacuated as a precaution to prevent them from being trapped when the weather system passes over southern Taiwan.
The Water Resources Agency said that, in addition to flooded areas in New Taipei City, Keelung’s Jhongshan (中山), Renai (仁愛) and Xinyi (信義) districts were on a level 1 flood alert — imminent flooding if rain continues — and the Jhongjheng (中正), Anle (安樂) and Nuannuan (暖暖) districts were on a level 2 flood alert — possible flooding within three hours if rain continues.
Photo copied by Lin Chia-tung, Taipei Times
The Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said that several sections of Provincial Highway No. 2, a major coastal roadway in northern Taiwan, have been closed indefinitely due to flooding and mudslides caused by the rain.
The affected areas are sections 15K-52K between New Taipei City’s Sanjhih and Wanli; 67K-71K along Bisha Port (碧砂港) in Keelung; and 75K-84K between the coastal scenic areas of Ruibin (瑞濱) and Bitou (鼻頭) in New Taipei City, the DGH said.
The DGH urged motorists to avoid using those sections of the coastal highway over the next few days as workers clear debris and perform repairs.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Flights to and from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) resumed at 12:43pm after a two-and-a-half hour suspension due to heavy rainfall in Taipei, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.
A total of 137 flights were canceled or delayed at Songshan airport, including three flights that were unable to land and were redirected to airports in Taichung and Kaohsiung, the CAA said.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport suspended ground operations at 10:45am, when it issued a thunderstorm warning, the CAA said, adding that the alert was not lifted until 12:40pm.
As of 1pm, 20 commercial passenger flights and one cargo flight had been canceled, while another 17 commercial flights and one cargo flight were delayed, airport data showed.
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest