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President, premier inspect disaster areas in south Taiwan

2012/06/12 19:27:24

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou inspected the Central Emergency Operation Center and disaster areas in southern Taiwan on Tuesday after days of heavy rainfall caused landslides and serious flooding around the island.

Ma gave a directive for all relevant units to be on the alert, especially in the mountainous areas of central and southern Taiwan that are prone to landslides.

Later in the day, Ma visited an emergency operations center in Nantou County, central Taiwan, where two people died in a landslide caused by torrential rain in mountainous areas.

The president urged residents to evacuate disaster-prone areas as soon as possible.

Over the past two days, the Nantou County government has evacuated around 400 tourists and residents near Lushan Hot Spring and at Hsinyi Village but the business operators at the hot springs have refused to leave the mountain area.

Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen toured Sandimen Township in the southern county of Pingtung, which recorded the highest cumulative rainfall in the country of 1,443mm over the past three days.

Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi said Ma has issued a directive for his administration to closely monitor the rainfall, disasters, and relief efforts.

(By Kelven Huang, Kuo Chu-shuan, and Hanna Liu)