Operators in the well-known Lushan (廬山) hot springs area in Nantou County are to be relocated because of the increasing danger of landslides in the environmentally sensitive area, according to county government officials.
The Lushan area, located in the county’s Renai Township (仁愛), was severely damaged by Typhoon Sinlaku in August 2008 and was struck again by Typhoon Morakot the following year, resulting in many homes, businesses and hotels being buried in mudslides.
The bedrock at Muanshan (母安山), located to the north of the hot springs zone, has been slowly and unpredictably slipping over the past few years. The typhoons that frequently hit the area have aggravated the slippage, the county government said, citing information provided by the Central Geological Survey.
It added that both the county and central governments believe the situation has become so severe that it is threatening the lives of the people there and that it is no longer a suitable location for hot-spring businesses.
The affected area covers 64.62 hectares of land, including six hot-spring facilities and hotels licensed to run such businesses. Also affected are 21 unlicensed hot-spring businesses, the county’s Tourism Bureau said.
The bureau said that the businesses will be relocated about 30km away and placed on farmland belonging to the state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp, in Puli Township (埔里), which also has natural hot-spring resources.