Taipei, Water levels are receding in the 1,222 areas identified as flooded in central and southern Taiwan, with the exception of nine areas in Chiayi and one in Tainan, where flood waters are expected to drop later Sunday, according to Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (???), who served as commander of the Central Emergency Operation Center.
Meanwhile, electricity, water supplies and local phone and public transport have all resumed normal service, according to Shen.
Premier Lai Ching-te (???) visited the center Sunday in the wake of torrential rain caused by a tropical depression that inundated central and southern Taiwan over the past few days, leaving tens of thousands of households without electricity and causing major losses to agricultural production.
After receiving a briefing from various government agencies, Lai directed the Ministry of National Defense to help with the cleaning and disinfection of flood-affected areas to prevent the spread of disease as temperatures are expected to rise after the rain begins to ease.
For example, large numbers of animal carcasses need to be transported by sealed trucks to incinerators for destruction to prevent avian influenza infection, while cleaning and disinfection efforts need to be stepped up in flood-affected areas to prevent the spread of dengue fever, Lai said.
According to the Central Weather Bureau, heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression and southwesterly airflow is expected to hit eastern and southern Taiwan late on Sunday and continue until Wednesday, Lai noted, while directing the relevant authorities to prepare flood rescue equipment and other emergency supplies, such as pumps, to minimize the impact of flooding.
As off Sunday noon, the flooding has caused seven fatalities, 116 injuries and left 599 people in shelters, according to statistics provided by the center.
In addition, agricultural losses caused by the flooding are estimated to have reached at least NT$426 million (US$13.88 million), while damage to schools and other buildings will cost NT$157 million to repair, according to the center.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel