With officials expressing relief that a two-week interruption of the water supply had ended, the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday demanded the creation of an alarm system that would point to fluctuations in the turbidity of water destined for human consumption. \nTurbidity is a measurement of drinking-water quality. The recent water crisis in Taoyuan has been attributed to the abnormally high turbidity of untreated water in Shihmen Reservoir. \nAccording to Joses Wu (吳約西), the secretary-general of the Water Resources Agency, the pioneering research might take a long time. \n"We will firstly suggest establishing a monitoring system for water quality in the upper reaches of the reservoir," Wu told the Taipei Times. \nThe agency said that between Aug. 23 and Aug. 26, Typhoon Aere brought about 973mm of rain, or half the annual average, to the reservoir. The amount of water that flowed into the reservoir came to about 700 million tonnes, three times more than its capacity. \nAgency officials said the National Central University's an-alysis of satellite pictures taken after the typhoon indicated that 295 hectares of land in mountainous areas had collapsed since late last month. It was also estimated that more than 20 million cubic meters of silt, mud, driftwood and other debris was washed down to the reservoir. That amount was about 14 times the annual amount of silt deposits for the reservoir, officials said. \nThe turbidity of raw water at the reservoir increased dramatically to between 70,000 and 120,000 nephelometric turbidity units. However, the existing water-supply system can only deal with raw water with turbidity levels below 5,000 units. On Aug. 25, the water supply for residents in southern Taoyuan therefore began to shut down. \nAlthough the government claimed that the water supply to Taoyuan Country was fully operational on Thursday, about 13,000 households on higher ground were still without water yesterday. \nWu said that Taoyuan residents require about 1 million tonnes of tap water a day. Yes-terday, the temporary water supply system set up since the typhoon struck remained 140,000 tonnes short of the target. \nThe Taiwan Water Supply Corp is continuing to provide water to affected users by truck. \nWu said yesterday that water resources around the country would be reviewed in the near future to stabilize water supply to not only homes but also the industrial sector. A task force will be set up soon to gather opinions from industry experts, academics and local governments.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,