Tue, Jul 06, 2004 - Page 2 News List

10,000 homes lack power


About 9,600 households in the center of the country remained without electricity yesterday in the wake of torrential rains brought by Tropical Storm Mindulle, the Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) said.

Taipower yesterday estimated that power for 210,000 households had been cut off at some time during the days of heavy rain, and that it had restored power to 200,000 households at 5pm yesterday.

But electricity in the blackout zone will take some time to be restored because key roads have been severely damaged by mudflows and landslides.

The blackout zone is now mostly restricted to mountain areas in Taichung and Nantou counties.

Heavy rains have also battered three hydroelectric power plants along the Tachia River in Taichung County.

The Techi plant and the Tienlun plant could be salvaged, as water had only destroyed part of the plants' infrastructure.

However, the Chingshan plant was completely submerged in water, and total damage was estimated at around NT$10 billion, said Lee Chuan-lai (李傳來), a Taipower public relations official.

Of the national capacity of 34.75 million kilowatts, the Techi and Chingshan plants amount to 594,000 kilowatts, or 1.7 percent, and thus the damage to these plants would not heavily affect the national power supply, the company said.

But Taipower chairman Lin Neng-pai (林能白) said that hydroelectric power is important to the nation and that the company would fix the damaged plants.

Mindulle's rain has restored water stocks to a healthy level for the next six months, but the violence of the storm has forced water treatment plants to slow or else halt water supply in several cases.

Areas suffering include Tai-chung County, with 150,000 households affected and Kaohsiung County, with 16,000 households affected, the Taiwan Water Supply Corp said in a statement yesterday.


The company said its water treatment plants were required to cut supply once turbidity exceeded a certain level.

The turbidity of the Kaoping River, which runs along the border of Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties, was four times that level, while the Tachia River was almost double the acceptable level.

Taiwan Water Supply therefore has reduced the daily water supply by a total of 500,000m3 to affected areas.

The company has been trucking clean water to households in some disaster areas, and has set up 24 stations that are supplying water in Taichung County which the trucks cannot reach, the company said.

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