Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Storms' losses valued at NT$1.2bn

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A policeman investigates the collapsed section of Chung-heng Highway in Nantou County yesterday. Heavy rains continue to cause mudflows, landslides and flooding in the center and south of the country.

PHOTO: TUNG CHEN-KUO, TAIPEI TIMES

Statistics released yesterday by the Council of Agriculture (COA)show that the the recent spate of storms, including Typhoon Sepat caused heavy agricultural losses valued at more than NT$1.2 billion (US$36.49 million).

Since early this month, Taiwan has been under the influence of a strong southwesterly air current that has caused heavy downpours in the central and southern regions, while Typhoon Sepat pounded Taiwan with torrential rain and strong wind on Saturday.

The COA said 19,083 hectares, or 27 percent of the country's farmland has been damaged, with zero crop harvest for 5,190 hectares.

Hualien County in eastern Taiwan suffered the greatest losses, reaching NT$340 million, followed by Pingtung County in the south, with losses of NT$280 million, Yunlin County in central Taiwan at NT$180 million, and Taitung in southeastern Taiwan at NT$100 million, the statistics showed.

Pomelo orchards were hit the hardest, along with bananas, watermelons, melons and leafy vegetables.

Poultry and livestock farmers suffered losses of more than NT$78.54 million, including the deaths of 3,025 pigs, 678,000 chickens, 186,000 ducks and 38,000 geese.

Fish farmers suffered NT$71.76 million in damages, with 142.65 hectares of fishing ponds flooded.

Forestry lost NT$38.84 million, with 225.45 hectares of woodland and 146.2 hectares of seedlings destroyed by heavy downpours and gales.

Other losses include damaged farming and fishing facilities, such as fowl and livestock shelters, as well as fish breeding ponds.

Meanwhile, landslides caused by heavy rain brought by Typhoon Sepat have blocked Provincial Highway No. 18, the main route to the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, at three locations, and road repair workers were working non-stop trying to get the road open at least partially, local public works officials said yesterday.

The officials said that although Sepat had already left Taiwan, intermittent downpours in mountainous areas of Chiayi County triggered several landslides that blocked the road.

Also see story:

Vegetable prices to stay high for three weeks after Typhoon Sepat

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