Heavy rain brings landslides, flooding to parts of Taiwan

Heavy rain brought by a frontal system pounded northern and central parts of Taiwan from late Wednesday (April 10) to early Thursday (April 20), causing landslides in some mountain districts, and flooding in low lying areas.

In Miaoli County’s Dahu Township, a man escaped with slight injuries after his car was hit by rocks that fell onto County Road 62 at 6:20 am. Police responding to reports of the accident found the car partially crushed and the driver, named Zhang had managed to exit the vehicle on his own via the broken rear window. Zhang suffered bruises and abrasions and was sent to a local hospital for first aid and a medical examination.

County Road 62 was closed in both directions after the rockfall.

Red Nissan March partially crushed by rockfall in Miaoli County, Taiwan
Nissan March partially crushed by rockfall in Miaoli County, Taiwan, April 20, 2023.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issued an Extremely Heavy Rain Advisory at 8:30 am covering the Miaoli mountain area, Hsinchu County mountain area, Miaoli County, Taichung City, Changhua County, Yunlin County, New Taipei City mountain area, Taoyuan City mountain area, Nantou County, Chiayi City, Chiayi County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, and Pintung County in effect from late in the morning to late in the afternoon.

Social media users uploaded pictures of flooded roads and homes in Taichung City. Legislator Lin Ching-yi posted pictures on Facebook, noting flooding in many roads around Shalu and Longjing Districts, and questioning whether the municipal government had taken adequate flood prevention measures. The Taichung City Government responded that the 24-hour accumulated rainfall had exceeded the design load of existing drainage channels and that plans would be made to improve drainage in the long term.

Pedestrians and vehicles on flooded road.
Pedestrians and vehicles negotiate flooded road in Taichung City’s Shalu District on the morning of Thursday, April 20. Picture: Lin Ching-yi.
traffic blocked by flooded road in Taichung City, Taiwan.
Keyuan Road in Xitun District, Taichung City, April 20, 2023. Picture: Lin Ching-yi.
student falls into floodwater outside university gate
At the gate of Hungkuang University in Shalu District, Taichung City, a student was assisted by security guards after being swept along by fast-moving floodwater. Picture: Facebook citizen reporter network.

According to the CWB website, as of 8:00 am this morning, Tongxiao Township, Miaoli County had the most rainfall at 215.5 millimeters. Taichung had an accumulated rainfall of 136 mm, and Qijin District of Kaohsiung City had 78.5 mm. However, Tainan only had 5 mm, and Chiayi 16 mm, indicating that most of the rainfall fell in Central Taiwan.

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