Flooding causes estimated NT$370 million in agricultural losses
Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Agricultural losses caused by serious flooding in central and southern Taiwan in recent days are estimated to have been at least NT$370 million (US$12 million), data released by the Council of Agriculture (COA) showed Saturday.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the COA said heavy downpours caused by a tropical depression had impacted half the country, causing NT$369 million in agricultural losses, including crops, fisheries and livestock.
Chiayi was the hardest hit by the torrential rain, with about NT$287 million in agricultural losses, accounting for 78 percent of the total, the data showed.
Tainan was the second worst hit, with NT$49.31 million in damage or 13.4 percent of the total, followed by Yunlin with NT$16.79 million in losses (4.6 percent), Kaohsiung NT$9 million (2.4 percent) and Pingtung NT$5.94 million (1.6 percent), the data indicated.
The COA said 2,463 hectares of farmland were flooded.
The most heavily impacted crop was tomatoes with NT$5.88 million in losses, followed by peanuts, corn, water melon and bananas, according to the COA.
In terms of livestock, a total of 1.38 million chickens died in the flooding causing losses of NT$151 million, followed by large numbers of pigs, ducks and geese, the COA added.
The COA said losses suffered by the fishing industry hit NT$163 million, with milkfish, tilapia, barramundi, eels and grouper hardest hit. Agricultural facilities in Pingtung, Yunlin and Tainan suffered losses of NT$920,000, the COA added.
The COA said local governments in Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung will provide financial relief to farmers who suffered losses due to the flooding.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said the heavy rain had also caused NT$150 million in damage to schools as of 7 p.m. with about NT$26.77 million in losses in Chiayi, the hardest hit area.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), who served as a commander of the Central Emergency Operation Center, told the press that flooding had caused six fatalities and left tens of thousands of households without electricity.
However, following repair work by Taiwan Power Co., power has since been restored to most affected households with only about 100 still without power, Shen said.
Traffic in flooded areas has since returned to normal after the disruption, Shen added.
Shen said the center continues to watch closely southwesterly air flows which, it is forecast, could affect Taiwan over the next few days.
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