Torrential Rain Lashes Taiwan

A “meiyu” front, called plum rain by locals, has brought torrential rain, floods, and landslides all over the island as the East Asian rainy season begins in Taiwan.

Municipal governments have declared a total of 81 schools closed for tomorrow, June 3, in flood and landslide-prone areas.

The Central Weather Bureau issued heavy rain warnings rated extremely heavy, torrential, and extremely torrential for 15 counties this morning. Keelung City and New Taipei City were rated as “extremely torrential.”

Power and Water Outages

Around 16,000 households are without water due to turbidity problems in Keelung and New Taipei City, while others have reduced water pressure.

The national electricity supplier, Taipower, reported at 6:00pm that there had been over 10,000 power outages, mostly in Keelung and New Taipei City, and as of 6:00pm more than 1,700 households remained without power.

Floods

Floods occurred in various areas of New Taipei City, which was lashed by torrential rain from the early hours of the morning. In Bali District at around noon, a scooter rider drowned after being washed off her motorcycle into a drainage ditch where she became entangled in electricity wires.

In Danshui(Tamsui) District, some roads were flooded up to waist-high level. A scooter rider was washed off his scooter and rescued by passers-by who pulled him out of the flood water (see video).

Keelung City saw some of the most serious flooding. In Keelung, a taxi driver and his passenger were seen trapped in their vehicle as it floated on floodwaters until it hit a fence. The taxi driver held the vehicle against the fence with one arm, while the passenger exited through the back window (see video below).

taxi driver exiting flooded taxi in Keelung
A taxi driver is seen escaping from his flood-bound vehicle after seeing his passenger reach safety in Keelung City today, June 2, 2017. Picture: Breaking News Community FB group.

Also in Keelung City, 6 people were rescued after becoming trapped by floodwaters at a bus stop. Three people managed to clamber to the top of the bus shelter, while a couple and their grand-daughter were washed away. The three on the rooftop alerted rescuers to the three missing people, who were later located and hospitalized.

Landslides

At 3:55pm, a major landslide blocked the Central Cross Island Highway at the 97km mark in Nantou County. The slide engulfed a highway-related construction project.

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