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Heavy rain hits southern Taiwan; evacuations in Kaohsiung

2016/06/13 18:26:18

Photo courtesy of the Directorate General of Highways

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Heavy rain over the past few days has caused damage in several parts of the country, with southern Taiwan bearing the brunt, local government officials reported Monday.

Kaohsiung City government ordered the evacuation of over 2,200 residents that day after days of heavy rain increased the risk of landslides in several mountainous areas, including 877 in Liugui, 737 in Taoyuan and 320 in Namasia districts, according to a city government spokesman.

In addition, the city's Taoyuan (桃源) District announced school and office closures that afternoon because road connections were cut off to several areas of the district due to flooding on roads and bridges.

The city's Agriculture Bureau has also decided to provide subsidies to plum growers in Taoyuan, who have incurred heavy agricultural losses as transportation of their crops has been affected at the peak harvest season, according to the spokesman.

The Water Resources Bureau has issued a red alert for 53 rivers, while 28 other rivers are on yellow alert, according to bureau statistics.

Heavy and continuous rain over the past few days has caused flooding in some areas of Taiwan that has affected agricultural production and supplies.

Rain began to fall almost continuously in Taitung from the beginning of the Dragon Boat Festival June 9 and lasted for three days, causing the collapse of mature rice plants in some areas, a farmer said, expressing concern that if rain continues in the next two days, it could affect the rice harvest.

Over the past 24 hours, accumulated rainfall in Taichung's Heping, Kaohisung's Taoyuan, Hualien's Hsiulin and Tainan's Baihe districts all exceeded 20 centimeters, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

Baihe Reservoir, which is used mainly for irrigation of the Tainan area, had reached 99.9 percent of its full capacity as of 11 a.m. Monday.

(By Wang Shwu-fen, Tyson Lu, Chen Wei-ting, yang Sz-ruei and Evelyn