Sun, Aug 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Landslide closes Alishan Highway until Wednesday

MOUNTAINSIDE CHAOS:The key road linking the forested area to the outside world was buried under rubble following rains from Typhoon Saola

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A landslide covered a section of the Alishan Highway — the main road to the Alishan (阿里山) forest recreation area near Chukou (觸口) — on Friday evening, leaving the road link closed in both directions until Wednesday.

With Typhoon Saola pounding the nation last week, the Alishan forest recreation area was closed to avoid the dangers posed by potential flooding and landslides.

The highway was conditionally opened to small vehicles on Friday and had been originally scheduled to reopen in both directions yesterday. However, a large-slope land mass suddenly collapsed at about 7pm on Friday night and covered the entire roadbed, blocking both sides of the road and damaging parts of a convenience store and a roadside storage facility, government officials said.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday said it was fortunate that no one was hurt during the incident. Sporadic rockfall prompted the evacuation of nearby residents — just half an hour before the actual landslide took place, he added.

Road maintenance at the site began yesterday, but due to the large volume of mud that requires clearing, the road maintenance team said the road would probably not reopen until Wednesday.

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