Three people died and more than 3,000 were evacuated as Tropical Storm Kong-Rey inundated central and southern Taiwan with rain, the Central Emergency Operation Center said yesterday.
While the storm did not make landfall on Taiwan proper, torrential rain devastated central and southern regions, causing severe flooding and damage to transportation systems.
Information from the center showed that a 20-year-old man riding a motorcycle drowned after he fell into a gutter in Pingtung County. A 50-year-old woman was electrocuted in western Yunlin County, while another woman, also in Yunlin County, died trying to get to work during the storm, the center said.
The number of people evacuated because of the tropical storm rose to 3,645 yesterday, with 844 taking refuge in shelters.
By 5pm yesterday, the Council of Agriculture estimated that the damage caused by tropical storms Trami and Kong-Rey to agricultural, fisheries and forestry resources had topped NT$315 million (US$10.5 million). Chiayi County saw the greatest losses at more than NT$134.81 million, followed by Yunlin County at NT$80.28 million, it said.
Retail prices of vegetables have risen by more than 20 percent as some farmland is still inundated. To increase supplies, the council released 50 tonnes of frozen vegetables to retail markets.
The council warned that prices would remain high until the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday on Sept. 19 should the rainfall continue in the south and the floods fail to recede.
Although the Central Weather Bureau had lifted both its sea and land warnings for Kong-Rey, torrential rain continued to pummel central and southern regions yesterday. Bureau statistics showed that Majia (瑪家), Pintung County, had accumulated rainfall of 252mm, the highest in the nation. It was followed by Mailiao (麥寮), Yunlin County, and Sandimen (三地門), Pingtung County, with accumulated rainfall of 238.5mm and 232mm respectively.
Changhwa residents criticized local government officials yesterday after the Changhua County Government and the Changhwa City Government gave conflicting orders as to whether work and school should be canceled yesterday.
While the former announced on Thursday night that both work and school would continue as normal, people living in the city were told to go home at 7:30am yesterday after the hourly rainfall exceeded 40mm.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who visited flooded areas of southern Taiwan yesterday, vowed that the government would continue to improve drainage.
Jiang said his goal is to prevent any household from being affected by flooding and to keep any flooding to an absolute minimum.
Additional reporting by agencies