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Sat, Oct 09, 1999 - Page 4 News List

Typhoon bringing landslides at rate of 100 per day


Rescue and disaster relief agencies went into high alert across Taiwan yesterday as typhoon Dan threatened the earthquake-stricken areas with more land-slides and flooding.

Officials at the Council of Agriculture said the council's satellite surveillance stations spotted 853 new sites of land-slides during the week from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, with more than 100 landslides per day on average. The new landslides were found in Nantou County (766), Taichung County (74), Yunlin County (20), and Miaoli County (3).

A survey by the council revealed yesterday that 40 of the new landslides are located in densely populated areas.

The council has ordered its central Taiwan office to keep a round-the-clock watch on satellite information, officials said.

Council chairman Peng Tso-kwei (彭作奎) also advised residents in high-risk areas to be ready to evacuate their houses once they discover signs of preliminary rockfalls or ground movement nearby.

Heavy rains are also quickly filling Tsaoling Lake (草嶺潭), which had been created by the 921 earthquake. The Water Resources Department began digging a diversion canal yesterday to reduce water pressure. How-ever, officials at the department expressed concern that the impact of the diversion might cause more landslides downstream.

Vice President Lien Chan (連戰) and Premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) visited the earthquake-stricken areas in central Taiwan yesterday to oversee preparations for Typhoon Dan.

Government spokesman Chen Chien-jen (程建人) said all quake victims living in tents had been evacuated to schools and other shelters.

Meanwhile, a group of 14 legislators set up a cross-party action group for Aborigines (原住民問政會) yesterday and demanded immediate action to help the Aborigines affected by the earthquake. Most of the 42 high-alert danger zones declared after the earthquake are located around aboriginal villages, said legislator Yang Jen-fu (楊仁福), chairperson of the group.

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