Heavy Rains Inundate Taiwan

Heavy rain caused by the northeastern monsoon coupled with the influence of tropical storm Khanun has caused landslides, power outages, floods, and disruption to road, sea, and air transport across the nation Saturday, October 14.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs opened the Central Disaster Response Center at 11:00pm last night to coordinate responses to potential disasters brought about by the heavy rain.

Landslip in Xizhi District

In Xizhi District, New Taipei City, residents were rudely awoken at around 5:00am to the sound of thunder and shaking ground as the hillside below their homes slid away, exposing the foundation of their residences. Four households with total of 12 people were evacuated for their own safety.

landslide affected homes
A landslide in Xizhi District, New Taipei City threatens residences, October 14, 2017.

At 6:30pm the Council of Agriculture issued landslide red alerts for 67 locations in New Taipei, Ilan, Hualian, and Taitung and yellow alerts for 347 locations. Any alert above yellow is a signal for evacuation.

2,000 Villagers Isolated in Ilan County

More than 2,000 residents of 5 villages in Ilan County are cut off by washed out roads on Highway 7. Ilan County Government warned people not to travel on the highway. The Directorate General of Highways said the road is unlikely to be reopened today.

washed out road
Highway 7 washed out in Ilan County, October 14, 2017.

Suhua Highway Closed and Re-opened

The rockfall-prone Suhua Highway was re-opened at 3:00pm this afternoon after being closed since 11:30pm last night. A morning patrol by the Highway Bureau identified more than 10 rockfalls which were dealt with during the day. As evening fell it was announced that the road was closed again due to landslides at at least three locations.

excavator clearing rocks from road
Rocks are c;leared on the Suhua Highway October 14, 2017.

Train Delays on East Coast Due to Flooding

Flooding on the east coast line disrupted rail traffic, causing delays for thousands of passengers. Flooding at Zhiben and Guanshan in Taitung County caused sporadic delays as flood waters rose and fell. At Zhiben, rail traffic was suspended from 11:07am until 11:46am, then again from 12:35pm until 1:41pm. At Guanshan the track was flooded from 12:24pm until 2:00pm.

Taiwan Rail Administration allowed passengers to purchase standing tickets on Puyuma class tilt trains to help stranded travelers. Standing passengers are not normally allowed on Puyuma and Taroko class express trains.

Power Outages

Taipower reported power outages due to heavy downpours beginning Friday October 13. A total of 14,530 households were affected with most having power restored by noon Saturday. The affected households were located in Ilan and Hualian Counties, and Taoyuan City.

Flood Alerts Issued for 3 Townships in Taitung

The Water Resources Agency issued flood alerts for Beinan, Taimali, and Jinfeng townships in Taitung County after weather stations recorded a cumulative rainfall of more than 250 millimeters today.

Despite heavy rain, the water level in the Taiping River in Taitung was quite low in the morning. A driver who parked his truck in the riverbed however, was caught by suddenly rising waters, and had to have his truck pulled out with a backhoe.

Also in Taitung, 5 mountain climbers were reported trapped in the mountains near Jhiben after being unable to descend yesterday evening due to heavy rain.

truck in flooded river
A backhoe is employed to tow a truck out of a flooded riverbed in Taitung County October 14, 2017.
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