Fri, Jul 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taipei steps up disaster prevention

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

A Taipei City Government engineering staff moves a ticketing booth from the Yanping Riverside Park in Taipei yesterday as the nation braced for Typhoon Soulik.

Photo: Mandy Cheng, AFP

The Taipei City Government launched its first-level disaster response center last night in preparation for the approach of Typhoon Soulik and has formed a flood prevention and rescue team.

The center was launched when the Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Soulik. Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) and all top city officials were stationed at the center to monitor preparatory works ahead of the typhoon’s arrival.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) cut short his Russian trip and will return to Taipei this afternoon to preside over the city’s handling of typhoon-related disasters.

The city’s Department of New Construction said it was monitoring situations in older communities and hillside homes to prevent torrential rain from causing serious flooding in the mountain areas.

Hydraulic Engineering Agency director Chang Kai-yao (張凱堯) said the department had dispatched 600 staff to form a flood prevention team and would inspect low-lying areas around the city to provide immediate assistance to minimize damage caused by flooding.

The agency also called on drivers to remove their cars from parking areas along riversides because the agency could close water gates at any time.

The city will monitor 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.

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said intervals for MRT trains may be shortened during the typhoon, while the Maokong Gondola may be closed.

The city government said residents with typhoon-related inquiries can call the city’s 24-hour 1999 Citizen Hotline for assistance.

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