Taitung County has been inundated with more than 400mm of rain over the past two days, resulting in large agricultural losses that are expected to worsen, county officials said yesterday.
Almost 900 hectares of rice paddies have been seriously damaged by the heavy rain, according to statistics released by the county government yesterday.
In addition to rice paddies, crops of custard apples, chrysanthemums and ginger have also suffered extensive damage, county officials said.
Farmers hoped that the central government would activate its subsidization mechanism to compensate farmers for their losses, the officials added.
In addition to farmers, the county government also asked for compensation, predicting that the situation will worsen because most rice paddies are about to be harvested.
Further rain could make the rice sprout, rendering it useless, county officials said.
The Central Weather Bureau said that although rainfall was predicted to ease yesterday, it would become heavier and the temperature would fall today because of an approaching cold front. The bureau predicted that rain would continue until tomorrow in the south and Monday in the north. Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) yesterday said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had expressed concern over agricultural losses caused by the constant rain in Hualien and Taitung counties.
Fan Chiang said Ma has instructed Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) to gather more information about the situation and take measures to compensate affected farmers for their losses.