Several highways connecting Hualien to surrounding counties were damaged following heavy rains that began on the weekend, the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday.
The Central Cross-Island Highway (中橫公路) had reported fallen rocks near the Baisha Bridge (白沙橋) on Friday.
The agency said that heavy rain on Sunday night had scoured the rocky slopes near the Baisha Bridge, adding that both the frequency and number of falling rocks increased yesterday morning. Because of this, the directorate said that it might take longer than expected to reopen the section, adding that it would likely announce tomorrow when it would reopen.
Heavy rain also caused mudslides on several parts of Highway No. 11 along the coast of Hualien. Landslides also occurred on the Guangfong Highway (光豐公路) near the end of Fongbin Township (豐濱), and only one traffic lane on the highway was opened for two-way traffic as of press time.
Meanwhile, traffic on Suhua Highway (蘇花公路) was disrupted yesterday after a rock shed near the 170km milestone was heavily damaged by landslides.
The directorate said it would likely reopen the section on Thursday.
Statistics from the Central Weather Bureau showed that the accumulated rainfall in Jialulanshan (加路蘭山) in Fongbin Township topped 170.5mm yesterday. It was followed by Dulan (都蘭) in Taitung County and Taitung City, which saw accumulated rainfall topping 162mm and 160mm respectively.