HSR, TRA to reduce train services during epidemic alert period as passenger numbers plummet

Taiwan’s High Speed Rail passenger numbers are down more than 71%, and Taiwan Railways passenger demand is down more than 65% as the nation goes into Level 3 epidemic alert, and train services will be reduced in response, HSR announced yesterday, and TRA announced today, May 19. HSR said that it would run 171 fewer services per week from May 21 to June 10, after daily passenger volume fell 71.08% over the daily average for March this year. TRA passenger

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Laptop sales surge, education department website crashes after nationwide school closure announced

Schools across Taiwan will be closed from tomorrow May 19 until May 28, the Ministry of Education announced today, leading to the MOE website crashing as concerned parents and students flooded onto the site seeking more information. The MOE made the decision a day after schools in Taipei City and New Taipei City announced city-wide school closures from today, May 18. Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung announced that all schools, including public and private kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high

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Taiwan faces rolling power outages again today, May 17

Taipower informed consumers via a text message alert at 8:10 pm this evening that there was insufficient power in the national grid and areas will face rolling power outages from 8:50 pm. The insufficient supply is reported to have happened due to a coal-fired power unit at the Xingda (Hsinta) power plant being shut down at 12:54 pm due to a combustion management system module failure. Although the fault was repaired, and the power unit was restarted at 2:29 pm,

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Business, tourism districts ghost towns, but supermarkets packed with crowds after epidemic warning raised to Level 3

People stayed away from normally crowded areas including Taipei City’s Xinyi District, and popular tourist hotspots such as Jiufen, but supermarkets in residential districts around Greater Taipei were crowded with people who waited in cues for up to an hour to stock up on such survival essentials as toilet paper and instant noodles, today, Saturday, May 15. The crowded supermarkets versus empty streets phenomena appeared after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported 180 new cases of COVID-19, leading to

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Food scandal: Restaurateur who passed off duck liver for foie gras has prison sentence commuted

The owner of a high-end teppanyaki restaurant in Kaohsiung City won an appeal to the Supreme Court, effectively reducing her penalty to a commutable prison sentence of 5 months from a previous 1 year, 6 month sentence for the crime of passing off duck liver as genuine foie gras, yesterday, May 13. The legal saga began at lunchtime on September 19, 2016, when a man named Lu (盧) took his wife to the Cardial restaurant on Longde Road, Gushan District,

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Full power should be restored by 9:40 pm: Ministry of Economic Affairs

Full power capacity should be restored by 9:40 pm, ending a series of blackouts around Taiwan, the Minister of Economic Affairs said at an emergency press conference this evening, May 13. The announcement was made after island-wide power rationing in the form of rolling blackouts plunged millions of households and businesses into darkness for up to one hour at a time from 3:00 pm this afternoon. The power rationing was implemented after a power grid accident at the Xingda (Hsinta)

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Power plant shutdown leads to island-wide rolling blackouts

An accident at the Kaohsiung City Xingda (Hsinta) thermal power plant caused island-wide rolling blackouts this afternoon, Thursday, May 13. Executive Yuan spokesperson Luo Bin-cheng said today (13) that the Xingda Power Plant has been shut down due to an accident and the power supply capacity of the system is insufficient. It is expected that the emergency rolling power outages will be implemented at 3 pm today. Taipower will do its best to repair it. And report to the public after finding

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Supermarket shelves emptied of epidemic survival products as residents fear possible lockdown

People rushed to supermarkets this evening, Wednesday, May 12, to stock up on supplies of products such as instant noodles, toilet paper, and disinfectant alcohol after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) raised the epidemic alert warning to Level 2, and the mayor of New Taipei City hinted that a city-wide lockdown could happen. CECC Director Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) told the media this morning that Taiwan could soon be under an epidemic warning Level 3, after 16 cases tested positive

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Taiwanese PC maker Gigabyte apologizes for mocking quality of “Made in China” components

Taiwan-based PC maker GIGABYTE (TWSE:2376) issued an apology today, after facing criticism in China over statements made on its website which implied that computer components manufactured in China were of inferior quality to those made in Taiwan. The introduction to Gigabyte’s e-sports notebook series “Aero” claimed that Gigabyte implements strict quality control, manufacturing their notebook computers in Taiwan instead of China, where product quality is low. The comment drew the ire of Chinese Internet users on social media platforms such

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Pilots under pressure: keeping your job is a challenge for locals and foreigners alike

The Novotel hotel at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will no longer provide accommodation to foreign pilots after an outbreak of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said, Friday, April 30. Health and Welfare Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) director Chen Shih-chung said that the most likely source for the infection was a foreign pilot, and that foreign pilots have “divergent” behaviors, being less likely to follow instructions for epidemic prevention. Four of 10 CAL pilots who tested

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Man seriously injured after paraglider accident

A paragliding instructor was rushed to hospital with serious injuries after crash landing on a beach in Dulan Township, Taitung County today, April 23. According to China Times, the 70-year-old senior instructor, named Deng, was flying a powered paraglider at around noon, when it suddenly lost power and fell from a height of around three stories. Witnesses at a nearby camping area immediately called emergency services and rushed to the man’s assistance. Deng suffered a serious head injury and was

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