Fri, Aug 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Yilan to install cameras, impose fines at Wufengci

By Lin Chin-lun and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

People visit the Wufengci Waterfalls in Yilan County on Wednesday.

Photo: Lin Ching-lun, Taipei Times

The Yilan County Goverment is to install surveillance cameras by Sept. 15 to enforce a no-swimming rule at Wufengci Waterfalls (五峰旗瀑布) and fine trespassers up to NT$100,000, the Yilan Business and Tourism Department said on Wednesday.

On Aug. 10, falling rocks struck two US tourists who were in one of the waterfall’s pools, despite a sign warning people against trespassing, department Director Lee Yueh-ju (李岳儒) said.

While the injuries were not life-threatening, the department has closed the entire Wufengci Scenic Area (五峰旗風景特定區) to visitors and is conducting a thorough safety inspection, Lee said.

The pool is deemed unsafe due to the waters’ depth and the loose rocks above, he said.

Despite barricade tape, several tourists have broken into the area, gone into the pools and uploaded selfies of their activities on social media, raising concerns that existing safeguards are inadequate, he said.

“We take the safety of visitors very seriously and right now we cannot guarantee Wufengci is 100 percent safe for visitors,” Lee said.

The area is considered highly dangerous and people should stop cutting the tape to enter, he said, adding that the department would impose a NT$5,000 to NT$100,000 fine on trespassers.

Loudspeakers and surveillance cameras are to be installed near the waterfalls before the scenic area reopens, he said.

Wufengci is renowned for its natural scenery, vibrant wildlife, hiking paths and the famed triple waterfall, which attracted more than 700,000 visitors last year.

However, sections of the area have been closed to visitors because of safety concerns, including the uppermost tier of the waterfall, which was rendered inaccessible by a typhoon since 2015.

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