River-tracing activities in the New Taipei City’s mountainous areas will be barred when downpours of 30mm per hour or more hit those regions, the city’s Fire Department said on Friday.
The department said the precautionary measure has been taken after a river-tracing accident in the city’s Pinglin District (坪林) left five dead, including a 13-year-old girl.
The unstable weather northern Taiwan has faced recently is likely to continue in the coming days because of a strong weather front from the southwest, the department said, which could make river-tracing activities dangerous.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The department said that if rainfall of 30mm per hour or more hits northern Taiwan, people will be barred from river-tracing activities in the mountainous areas of the city’s Pinglin, Wulai (烏來), Sindian (新店) and Sansia (三峽) districts.
If heavy rains hit any of the four districts, New Taipei City will instruct the offices of the four districts to send patrol teams to check if people are exploring rivers there.
The patrol teams will advise people not to continue their activity or keep people away from rivers to prevent any casualties or damage, the department said.
A swimming coach surnamed Wu (吳) said that river tracing is fun, but that people who do it should hire an experienced guide who can sense when a situation is getting precarious and pull the group away from danger.
The department said that people should be careful when they do any water activities in unstable weather for their own safety.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Minister of Edcuation Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said his ministry is to consult with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to stiffen the certification mechanism for river-tracing coaches and set more stringent rules on tour guides leading river-tracing tours.
He said although his ministry had introduced rules governing tour guides assigned to lead water activities organized by schools, the rules have come up short, as evidenced in the recent accidents.
He said the Tourism Bureau had set rules on certifying coaches for water activities, and that the two ministries would work to stiffen these rules.
He added he would instruct the Sports Administration under the education ministry to zone out safe areas for river tracing.
Additional reporting by Sean Lin
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that the disease prevention measures implemented in the next week would be critical in determining how the nation’s COVID-19 situation develops. Ko made the remark on the sidelines of a launch event for Cherish Food Taiwan’s Cherish Food Kitchen, which is to provide 300 free hot boxed lunches each day to frontline healthcare professionals at seven hospitals in Taipei and New Taipei City. The association said that it collects unconsumed ingredients to make the meals and gives them to elderly people who are in need. It established the new kitchen to expand its capacity during the
A cutting-edge air conditioning system that can be used to create negative-pressure wards without polluting the air is soon expected to join the fight against COVID-19, an academic-medical team told a news conference yesterday. The team, led by National Chin-Yi University of Technology professor Weng Kuo-liang (翁國亮), developed the system, which utilizes the exchange of water molecules between indoor and outdoor environments under different pressure to create a cooler, cleaner space with low pressure. The system uses separate pipes to collect outdoor air and discharge indoor air, as well as devices to disinfect air and absorb airborne particles, Weng said at the
TEAMWORK: Researcher Kuo Ban-Yuan said he is to lead a team to deploy an OBS array in the Pacific Ocean to create the western wing of an international project Taiwan plans to join the US, Japan and South Korea to survey the Pacific tectonic plate with locally built ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) next year, which would allow scientists to chart new research areas, Academia Sinica Institute of Earth Sciences research fellow Kuo Ban-Yuan (郭本垣) said. The opportunity arose after he led a team of Taiwanese researchers to deploy an OBS array in the Northern Okinawa Trough onboard the research vessel Legend (勵進) from 2018 to last year in collaboration with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the University of the Ryukyus, Kuo told the Taipei Times on
Hundreds of Taiwanese who were evacuated earlier this month from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged, were yesterday released from their 14-day quarantine. The 361 — who returned to Taiwan on March 10 and 11 on two charter flights and were immediately quarantined at three facilities in New Taipei City and Taoyuan — thanked medical staff for their care and started leaving the facilities at about 6am. Two of the evacuees developed a fever during their time in quarantine, but later tested negative for the novel coronavirus after two rounds of testing, officials in charge of the