Rice transplant sets record
The Taoyuan County Agricultural Bureau, along with county farmers’ associations and the Council of Agriculture, broke the Guinness World Record for the most people transplanting rice at the same location and time yesterday. The new record was set by 1,215 people who transplanted 2.1 hectares of rice in 16 minutes and 20 seconds in the county’s Sinwu Township (新屋). The previous record holder, Thailand, acquired the record in 2010 with 904 people transplanting rice in an area of 1.6 hectares in 35 minutes and 35 seconds, according to the Council of Agriculture. Most of the participants were farmers, but several other people took part in the event. The council said the oldest participant was 91 years old, while the youngest was 16.
Plane runs off runway
All 110 people aboard a plane that ran off a runway at Magong Airport in the Penghu island chain were safe, aviation authorities said late on Friday. At 9:30pm on Friday, a Taiwan-based Mandarin Airlines ERJ-190 jet ran off the end of the runway while landing. It had taken off 80 minutes earlier from Taipei International Airport, according to officials. While the 104 passengers and six crew members were reported safe, the incident left the plane’s nose wheels jammed, officials said. The airline said it was likely that rainy weather on the taxiway following a thunderstorm had caused the jet to deviate from its intended landing path and overrun into a field at the end of the runway.
Earthquake hits Hualien
A magnitude-5.3 earthquake hit the eastern county of Hualien early yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that there were no reports of casualties or damage. The tremor’s epicenter was located at sea, 71.2km south of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 22km, the bureau’s Seismology Center said. Changbin Township (長濱) in neighboring Taitung County recorded the strongest reading at an intensity of 5, the center said. Meanwhile, the bureau said yesterday that a tropical depression southeast of Taiwan is strengthening and could bring unstable weather to the island next week. It is possible that the depression, which is currently near the Philippines, could develop into a storm and that it may bring showers or thunderstorms to Taiwan next week.
Youngsters delay marriage
Results of a recently published survey show 70 percent of local salaried employees are hesitant about getting married, citing insufficient savings and job instability as the reasons. According to the survey conducted by 360d, a local job bank, the majority of respondents said their current circumstances do not allow them the opportunity to get married. Of these, 84 percent said they do not have enough savings and salaries, while 49 percent said their jobs are unstable. Another 41 percent who answered in the multiple-choice questionnaire said that they have not met the right person. Meanwhile, 58 percent of those polled said they needed at least NT$1 million (US$33,340) in savings before they would walk down the aisle, while 92 percent said money could help strengthen their romantic relationships. About 53 percent of single respondents said they are not ready for relationships yet, citing the lack of money, the extra expenses incurred when in a relationship and being too busy with work as their reasons. The survey collected 2,051 valid samples from July 31 to Aug. 13 with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.