The Taipei City Government yesterday launched a joint announcement mechanism on work and class cancelation with New Taipei City (新北市) and Keelung as Typhoon Saola approached, and announced that work and school would be canceled today.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) presided over two emergency operations meetings — one in the morning and again at 8pm — making announcements that the city canceled work and class as of 6pm last night and all of today.
The announcement also applied to New Taipei City and Keelung, as the three municipalities set up a joint announcement mechanism last month for the convenience of residents in the three cities.
“The decision on work and school cancellation is made upon the estimation of accumulated rainfall and wind, and the joint announcement mechanism will ensure that the announcement is made early enough, so that residents can be informed and prepared,” Hau said while presiding over one of the meetings at Taipei City Emergency Operations Center.
The Taipei City Government came under fire in June for its poor emergency response system to torrential rain as it announced work and class cancelations at the last minute, angering many parents who were forced to rush to schools to pick up their children.
The city is monitoring the accumulated torrential rainfall especially in Wenshan (文山), Nangang (南港), Shilin (士林), Beitou (北投) and Neihu (內湖) districts where flooding may occur.
Hau also inspected the city’s pumping stations, in the wake of an error at a station that led to serious flooding in Wenshan District in June.
Taipei City’s Department of New Construction was also monitoring the situation in older communities and hillside homes to prevent torrential rain, which is estimated to reach 1,200mm by tomorrow, from causing serious flooding in the mountain areas.
Taipei City’s 24-hour 1999 Citizen Hotline was jammed by residents who were concerned about the rain or seeking information about work and class cancelations. According to the city’s Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission, more than 6,742 calls were made to the hotline yesterday.