Agricultural losses topped NT$500 million (US$16.7 million) as of yesterday, after several parts of Taiwan suffered days of torrential rain, according to government statistics released yesterday.
As of 10am, agricultural losses were estimated at NT$503.66 million, after heavy downpours that started on June 10 brought flooding to northern, central and southern parts of the country, Council of Agriculture tallies showed.
Produce losses accounted for the majority of the damage, with rice the worst-hit, totaling NT$114.87 million. Losses resulting from inundated farmland came next, totaling NT$91.21 million, with Nantou County in central Taiwan suffering the greatest damage.
Aquaculture sector losses were also severe, amounting to NT$82.32 million, with oyster beds in the southern county of Chiayi suffering most heavily.
The council announced that as of 11am, all rivers that had been placed on red alert were no longer at high risk.
The council also cut the number of rivers it had placed on yellow alert to 234, most of which were located in six cities and counties — Greater Taichung and Nantou County in central Taiwan, Chiayi and Pingtung counties and Greater Kaohsiung in the south, and Taitung County in the east.
In related news, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said that from June 18, maps will be available online that will show people where to seek shelter and assistance in the event of a natural disaster.
The maps, which will be posted on the National Fire Agency Web site, show the areas of Taiwan at high risk of earthquakes, mudslides and other geological disasters.
Developed by the ministry last year, they also pinpoint the locations of shelters and routes to them, to help people evacuate and get to safety, Lee added.