Rescuers on Monday recovered the body of a man who disappeared in a flash flood that swept away two tents near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛) on Sunday.
Search-and-rescue personnel resumed looking for the 53-year-old man surnamed Lu (盧) at about 7am yesterday morning, after low visibility had forced them to halt the search on Sunday evening.
His body was recovered at about 8:30am.
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
Lu was one of four people from two Taichung families carried off early on Sunday as they slept in their tents.
The bodies of Lu’s 12-year-old daughter, a woman surnamed Chen (陳) and her six-year-old son surnamed Lai (賴) had been found on Sunday.
Lu’s wife, surnamed Hu (胡), told rescuers on Sunday that she had only survived because she was sleeping in their vehicle, while Chen’s husband was in his family’s tent, but managed to swim to safety.
State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) yesterday said that its initial investigation showed that faulty insulation around communication cables likely caused a short-circuit that opened the No. 6 floodgate at Nantou Shuili Taguan Power Plant (大觀電廠), upstream of the Lishi Creek, at 4:12am on Sunday.
Taipower’s investigation found that a low water-level alarm went off at 4:21am, alerting an overnight operator, who used the emergency override system to start shutting the gate at 4:28am. The gate was fully closed at 4:43am.
“Nothing like this had ever happened before,” Taipower manager Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) said by telephone. “That floodgate should not have opened up on its own.”
“It takes 15 minutes to fully open and close the floodgates,” Chang said.
Taipower estimates that about 208m3 of water rushes out of a floodgate every second that it is fully open.
The No. 6 floodgate opened for unexplained reasons again at 5:08am, but the operator discovered the incident “within one minute” and shut the gate again with minimal flooding, Taipower said.
Taipower notifies local officials before opening floodgates at its plants and makes public announcements through loudspeakers in the affected areas an hour before a gate is opened.
Camping is prohibited downstream from any hydroelectric plant in Taiwan, and there are warning signs along the rivers in those areas, Taipower said.
Television footage showed that there was a warning sign at the spot where the two families had camped.
“People are not supposed to enter a river bed area, but Taipower is still devastated by the magnitude of the accident,” Chang said. “If human error was a factor, we will of course bear the proper responsibility.”
The company is in the process of reviewing its control systems for flaws that could cause a similar accident, Chang said.
“If we find any, we will update the control systems to improve safety for all our dams,” he said.
The Tourism Bureau said that its initial investigation showed that the families had been camping in a restricted area.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two