Tue, May 21, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Heavy rain causes floods in central, north Taiwan

INUNDATED:Firefighters in Wugu, New Taipei City, rescued six passengers from a half-submerged bus. Taipei and Taichung also reported trapped motorists

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Rescuers deploy an inflatable raft to rescue people trapped in a factory in Taichung yesterday.

Photo: copied by Chen Chien-chih, Taipei Times

Extremely heavy rain brought by a weather front yesterday led to flash floods in multiple places in northern and central Taiwan and disrupted transportation.

Taoyuan International Airport Corp said the rain affected the arrival and departure of 18 flights, seven of which were diverted to Kaohsiung International Airport and other airports.

The Maritime Port Bureau said that 13 shipping services across the Taiwan Strait were canceled, including those between Taipei and Pingtan County, between Lienchiang County (Matsu) and Fuzhou City, and between Kinmen County and Quanzhou City. Pingtan, Fuzhou and Quanzhou are in China’s Fujian Province.

The operation on the Taiwan Railways Administration’s Jiji branch line (集集線) was interrupted due to a fallen tree on the railway track between Jiji and Shueili (水里) Railway Station.

Services resumed at 2:58pm.

Flash floods were reported in urban areas in Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Taichung.

Footage provided by the New Taipei Fire Department showed firefighters rescuing six passengers from a bus half-submerged in flood waters in Linkou District (林口).

Firefighters in the city’s Wugu District (五股) also rescued six people trapped near a temple under a freeway.

A few people uploaded videos and photographs onto the Facebook page “Talking about Tamsui (細說淡水),” which showed streets inundated with water.

Driving a car was like rowing a boat in the river, one said.

Aletheia University and St John’s University — two private universities in Tamsui — canceled classes because of severe flooding on Highway No. 2, the main highway on the north coast.

Outside the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Station (A8) on the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT Access, scooter riders pushed their vehicles through the floodwaters.

Taipei and Taichung reported several incidents of motorists being rescued after their vehicles got trapped in flooded underpasses.

Seven junior-high and elementary schools in Nantou County canceled classes yesterday afternoon, the Nantou County Government said.

Forecasts from the Central Weather Bureau showed that the rain would gradually ease today in the north as the front moved southward, but it warned of extremely heavy rain in southern Taiwan and heavy rain in other parts of the nation.

The Soil and Water Conservation Bureau yesterday afternoon issued debris flow warnings for 214 streams nationwide, which were expected to spur evacuations in some areas.

A red-coded alert was issued for 24 streams in Chiayi County and Kaohsiung, while a yellow-coded warning was issued for 190 waterways, mostly in mountainous areas of New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Taichung, Nantou, Hsinchu and Chiayi counties and Kaohsiung.

City and county governments began evacuation of people in the high-risk areas, in accordance with the standard procedure stipulated in the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act (災害防救法), the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau said.

Its debris flow warnings are based on assessments of the intensity, duration, and accumulated volume of rainfall, as well as the antecedent rainfall of an area.

Additional reporting by CNA

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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