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Landslide alerts issued as Taiwan inundated by heavy rainfall

2012/06/12 17:49:23

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Landslide alerts were issued Tuesday for 11 cities and counties around Taiwan as torrential rainfall continued for the third day, causing widespread flooding.

The Council of Agriculture (COA) issued red alerts for 30 townships and 126 villages in eight cities and counties, including Kaohsiung, Nantou, Chiayi, and Taichung, warning of landslide danger.

It also issued yellow alerts for landslides in 11 cities and counties after three days of torrential rain brought by a strong weather front and southwesterly winds.

In the areas that have been put on red alert, the local governments should ensure that residents evacuate or should relocate them to safer places, the COA said.

In those places that are on yellow alert areas, the residents are advised to evacuate, the council said.

Hundreds of areas in Taoyuan County in northern Taiwan, including sections of the country's main airport, were flooded after torrential rain overnight.

On a section of the apron at Taoyuan International Airport, a Japan Airlines plane stood stranded by floodwater.

The distributed control systems of EVA Airways broke down early Tuesday due to flooding in an underground control room but were restored at 9 a.m. The 24 EVA flights that departed in the morning were delayed two to three hours on average, according to the company.

Meanwhile, some 30,000 passengers were affected by train delays after two sections of the railway line between Taoyuan and Yingge in New Taipei collapsed. In Kaohsiung, one of the railway stations was flooded.

As of 10:30 a.m. when the repairs were completed, there had been a total of 65 delayed train trips, according to the railway administration.

Some 3,252 people, mostly in central and southern Taiwan, have been evacuated from areas at risk of landslides, the Central Emergency Operation Center said.

Around Taiwan, more than 5,000 households, mainly in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Pingtung, were without electricity, Taiwan Power Company reported. From Monday afternoon to Tuesday, 49,891 households lost power as a result of flooding or other weather-related factors, the power company said.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout the week, mostly in western parts of the island while certain areas should brace for torrential rain, the Central Weather Bureau has warned.

According to bureau statistics, as of 11:20 a.m.Tuesday, Sanxia District in New Taipei City has recorded 401.5 millimeters of rainfall, while in some areas in Taichung City and Taoyuan County the figure was over 360mm, according to the weather bureau.

(By Yang Shu-min, Bien Chen-feng, Chiu Chun-chin, Lin Meng-ju, Wang
Shu-fen and Kendra Lin)
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