The Cabinet yesterday established a national drought disaster relief center responsible for formulating plans to assist local governments.
To fight the worst drought in 20 years, several local governments imposed drought-emergency measures last month.
Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday designated Kuo Yao-chi (
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
"To avoid disputes between different polities over the distribution of limited water resources, the task force is to coordinate all of the nation's drought emergency measures," Kuo said.
Premier Yu said that during the crisis period, governing agencies will be authorized to utilize all possible water resources, including underground water and water designated for agricultural use. In addition, Yu stressed, the government has the right to levy residents' ponds for national use.
Based on the most recent weather forecasts that predict little rainfall in the beginning of this month, Yu yesterday commanded the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to come up with measures which have "as little impact as possible upon economic activities and people's lives."
Taking advantage of water levels that are alarmingly low, Yu urged the Water Resources Agency (WRA) under the MOEA to seize the opportunity to remove years of accumulated silt from the nation's reservoirs.
The water level at the Feitsui Reservoir (
Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
Ma said that Taipei City on average consumes three million tonnes of water per day and that it was time for change.
"If we keep consuming water at present rates, we will run out. Then, crying for more water will do no good," Ma said.
The second stage of rationing was imposed in Taipei City and part of Taipei County yesterday. Western counties affected by the first stage of water-rationing, including Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Chiayi, might face stricter measures soon, WRA officials said.
"Sooner or later, water-rationing, one zone at a time, will be imposed in northern Taiwan," Chen Shen-hsien (
TWSC officials said yesterday that a meeting held by the MOEA today would discuss the possibility of suspending water services in the counties of northern Taiwan from 11pm to 5am.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
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The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among