Only four of the 134 inns and guesthouses in Cingjing (清境), Nantou County, are legal operations, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said yesterday, as he vowed to close all unlicensed lodgings in disaster-prone areas of the popular mountain resort area.
There will be “no room for negotiation” over the dismantling of illegal guesthouses in areas of Cingjing with a high risk of disasters from earthquakes ortorrential rain, Lee told a press conference.
Lee said nearly half of the 498-hectare scenic area had been identified as “high risk” in a push to reduce overdevelopment.
The ministry’s move comes amid increased public awareness of the threat of overdevelopment because of the documentary Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above (看見台灣), which has become a box office hit.
The ministry will publicize a list of illegal guesthouses and inns in Cingjing within two weeks and announce its preliminary actions and follow-up steps, Lee said.
Guesthouses in “less dangerous” areas will be able to receive guidance on how to carry out low-impact land development. Conditions will be set which they must meet to become legitimate.
Prosecutors in Nantou County have also opened investigations into 80 businesses on suspicion of occupying state-owned land or violating the Soil and Water Conservation Act (水土保持法) or the Act for the Utilization and Transfer of Reserved Mountainous Land (山坡地保育利用條例).
Many of the lodges, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts that have opened in the area in recent years are notorious for the faux Tudor style or Alpine designs.
Typhoon Chanthu could make landfall as far north as Yilan or Hualien counties late tomorrow night, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, adding that a land alert could be issued this afternoon or tomorrow morning. The bureau also said that it could possibly issue a sea alert late last night or early this morning. As of 2pm yesterday, Chanthu was 960km southeast of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 15kph, but was projected to shift northward as it approached the Taiwan Strait due to a weakening Pacific high-pressure system, the bureau said. The bureau is closely monitoring the typhoon,
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not