Sun, Jul 16, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Bilis continues to cause problems

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

An elderly couple in Kanghsi Village in Hsinyuan Township, Pingtung County, are taken to the hospital by boat yesterday after the area was flooded following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Bilis.

PHOTO: CNA

The Central Weather Bureau has issued a flood warning to residents in central and southern Taiwan as well as Kinmen, Penghu and Matsu as an air current from the southwest caused by Tropical Storm Bilis continues to bring heavy rain.

As of 3:15pm yesterday, statistics from the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission showed that Bilis had left three people dead and two injured.

Furthermore, 409 people were forced to leave their homes, and 85 people were taken in by shelters open for victims of the bad weather.

The commission's report also showed the tropical storm caused flooding in 60 locations, crushed 12 levees and blocked the traffic on 82 roadways.

A total of 26,376 households experienced power blackouts and the water supply of 200 households was temporarily suspended. The telephone service was put out of action in 17,676 households.

The Council of Agriculture estimated Bilis has caused agricultural losses of about NT$117.5 million (US$3.67 million).

Watermelon, papaya and mango farmers suffered the most damage, the council said.

The bureau had lifted the land warning for Bilis by 2:30am yesterday. Nevertheless, the commission has maintained a Level 1 alert in handling any emergency situation caused by the rain.

Meanwhile, most of the nation's transportation system resumed operations yesterday, including the South Link Railway and the airport in Kaohsiung.

Ferries between Kinmen and Xiamen were canceled.

Also, the railway in Alishan was still closed after the rain damaged six sections of track.

The Ministry of Education decided on Friday that the national standardized examination for junior high school students would proceed as scheduled yesterday and today.

It had arranged for students living in remote regions to stay in the dorms of the schools hosting the test so that they would not have transportation problems.

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