Taipei--Rockslides that caused the Suhua Highway in the east to close down since Sunday have created massive traffic jams on other highways connecting the east coast of Taiwan, as travelers sought out other routes to return home before the end of the four-day Dragon Boat holiday.
Many people traveled to Hualien, a popular tourist spot, for the four-day holiday weekend, but found themselves stranded in the county after continuous rockslides since Sunday blocked the only road connecting the eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung with northern Taiwan.
Beginning Monday afternoon, travelers hoping to return to the north were forced to detour from the south or cut across the central mountain range, causing massive traffic jams on the south-link highway and the central cross-island highway.
At one point, the traffic jam on the south-link highway extended for around 6 kilometers.
Tsai Ching-liang (???), an officer at the Taitung County Police Bureau's Dawu Police Precinct, predicted that many travelers will continue to head south on Tuesday in order to avoid the Suhua Highway, and urged drivers to obey traffic regulations.
On Tuesday, more trains and ships were offered to transport holidaymakers home.
The Directorate General of Highways (DGH) said it has been repairing the Suhua Highway and will allow single-lane, two-way passage between 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, and between 6-8 a.m., 12-1 p.m., and 4-6 p.m. from Thursday.
The DGH urged drivers to avoid entering mountainous areas in the coming days, citing unstable weather.
Hualien residents have long complained about the inconvenience in Hualien's transportation, especially during rainy seasons when the risk of rockfall increases, often leading to road closures.
Hualien Magistrate Fu Kun-chi (???) took a stance on Tuesday, urging President Tsai Ing-wen (???) to fulfill her campaign promise to improve the county's transportation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel