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Hundreds of servicemen help clean up flooded Hengchun

2012/08/25 17:10:28

Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Around 500 military personnel helped residents in Pingtung's Hengchun Township clean up flooded areas Saturday, after Typhoon Tembin brought the heaviest rainfall in over a century to the township a day earlier.

The typhoon, which has weakened into a storm and moved away from southern Taiwan, brought over 600 millimeters of rain to Hengchun on Friday, with 167.5 mm falling between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., the highest hourly rainfall in over 100 years.

Tembin caused power outages, road closures and floods, most of which have subsided as of early Saturday.

The military also deployed personnel to other flooded areas in Pingtung, including the townships of Checheng, Manjhou and Mudan.

Electricity is scheduled to be restored to all of the 30,000 plus households in the Hengchun area by the end of Saturday.

According to the military, as of 9 p.m. Friday, a total of 2,456 personnel had been sent on rescue and relief missions to flooded areas in Pingtung and had helped evacuate 3,769 people.

Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu visited Chiayi County residents that were sheltering in evacuation centers and inspected disaster relief operations in the area earlier in the day, the military added.

Meanwhile, the Alishan Highway in Chiayi, which was closed in preparation for Tembin, opened to traffic Saturday, but the Alishan Forest Recreation Park remains closed to tourists.

When the popular forest park will reopen depends on the movement of Tembin, which may make a comeback because of influence from nearby Typhoon Bolaven, according to Chiayi Forest District Office.

In addition, rail services between Neishih and Fangshan on the South-Link Line resumed at noon, after intensive repair work conducted overnight, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

(By Kuo Chu-chen, Emmanuelle Tzeng, Huang Kuo-fang, Lin Shen-hsu
and Scully Hsiao)