Nation-wide Blackouts Cause Chaos

Factories halted production, traffic signals failed, and people were trapped in elevators this evening, as power failures brought blackouts to many parts of Taiwan. At 4:51pm the six gas-powered electricity generating units at the Datan (大潭) power plant in Taoyuan County malfunctioned, reducing the national power supply by 4.38 million kilowatts, and triggering emergency power rationing systems that caused rolling blackouts around the country. The Datan power station (also spelled Tatan) is the world’s largest gas turbine combined cycle power

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China Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Japan

A China Airlines flight from Hiroshima to Taipei made an emergency landing at Fukuoka Airport this morning after a warning light indicated a problem with one of the engines. The China Airlines Boeing B738, flight 113, was carrying 134 passengers at an altitude of 9100 meters when the warning light for the right-hand side engine came on at around 9:45am. The pilot contacted the control tower at Fukuoka Airport and requested to make an emergency landing. Fukuoka Airport closed the

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Fear of Brownouts After Power Tower Collapse

The collapse of a high voltage electricity transmission tower in Ilan County during Typhoon Nesat yesterday poses a threat to the national power supply network, according to national power supplier Taipower. The tower’s collapse prevents 1.3 million kilowatts from Heping power station entering the power grid. Engineers from the privately owned power plant are on site attempting repairs, but national power supplier Taipower expects it will take at least two weeks before supply can be resumed. The 345KV EHV tower,

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Bargain-Hunter’s Opportunity: Confiscated Sand Dredge Up for Auction

Kinmen District Prosecutor’s Office today announced that a Chinese-registered sand dredging ship confiscated after encroaching on Taiwan territory will be put up for auction August 10. The Yuantai 99 was intercepted after being found stealing sand from territorial waters near Kinmen County. January 18, seven crewmen were sentenced to 6-8 months detention, while the ship was confiscated under prevention of profit from crime law. A reserve price of NT$11 million (under US$363,000) has been set for the auction. It is

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Nuclear Reactor Offline Again After Power Trip

The second reactor at the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung county was shutdown as a safety precaution this morning after a water pump in the cooling system tripped. The reactor came back online last month after undergoing annual maintenance. The reactor was taken offline in April and was originally expected to be restarted in May. However, accidental damage to a component led to a one month delay. The reactor provides 2.7% of Taiwan’s national power supply of 36 million

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UAE Orders Taiwan Flight-Attendants to Wear PRC Flag

United Arab Emirates today ordered Taiwanese flight attendants to wear badges bearing the flag of the People’s Republic of China. A little more than an hour later, the Uniform Standards and Development Officer apologized and rescinded the order to wear the PRC flag, but maintained that the Taiwan ROC flag must not be worn. At 2.25pm, May 30, an email was allegedly sent to flight attendants stating: “We have been instructed by the Chinese Government that with immediate effect Emirates

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Pilots Sleeping on the Job: Whistleblower

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has promised to investigate after allegations were made that pilots on Tiger Air flights regularly took naps after take-off. The allegations were made by a co-pilot who took pictures over a one year period of 8 pilots sleeping on the job. Tiger Air, a Taiwan-based low cost carrier, said that of the 8 pilots, 5 are currently employed by the airline, and 3 have since left. The CAA said that if the allegations are proven,

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Balloon Causes High Speed Rail Delays

A balloon entangled in overhead power lines caused delays that affected up to 12,000 passengers traveling on Taiwan High Speed Rail between Taichung and Miaoli this morning, May 16. Nine south-bound and 11 northbound services were affected as bidirectional travel was limited to a single line. The large red balloon was spotted shortly before 8:00am, and was removed at 9:35am. Power was restored at 9:38am. Crew were sent to the location above the Daan River and had to walk 800

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American Police Officer Questioned for Carrying Firearm on Flight

A California cop has been questioned after inadvertently carrying a handgun and six bullets on a flight transiting in Taiwan. The Santa Monica police officer discovered she had forgotten to unpack the gun before embarking on a trip to Bangkok. After discovering her error, Nell Grant approached staff at the transit counter at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, and told them she had a handgun and six rounds of ammunition in her backpack. Airport police took her for interrogation, then handed

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Australian Woman Dies on Cruise Ship en Route to Keelung

An Australian woman died of suspected heart failure on a cruise ship en-route between Hong Kong and Keelung Harbor 2 days ago. Officials boarded the ship at Keelung yesterday to verify the cause of death. Apple Daily reports that Sharna Marie Graham, 53, was traveling with her 55 year-old husband David on the Celebrity Millennium. At around 8:00pm on the evening of April 10, Ms Graham collapsed and did not respond to first aid treatment in the ship’s clinic. The

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Farmers Plowing Their Crops in: Prices Too Low

[Picture: UDN] Farmers in Yunlin County are plowing their crops of leafy vegetables back into the ground and using them as ‘green manure’ due to a collapse in prices for cabbage, rape, bok-choi, and other leafy vegetables. Low prices have plagued farmers since the Chinese Lunar New Year when the price of cabbage fell so low that farmers invited consumers to come and pick their own cabbages for NT$10 (US$0.33) per kilogram. Recently the farm-gate price for cabbages fell to

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