TAIPEI, Taiwan - Work and school in parts of Kaohsiung and Chiayi are suspended today after heavy rainfall hit Southern Taiwan yesterday.Kaohsiung's Taoyuan District chief Hsieh Ying-hsiung yesterday issued a mayoral decree to suspend work and school for today in the district as a result of damage from rainfall.
The Alishan Township of Chiayi County also issued work and school suspensions for today.
Kaohsiung's Taoyuan district reportedly accumulated over 230 millimeters of rain just yesterday, which caused damage to a bridge and caused rocks to fall on farm roads.
Hsieh said the district had experienced heavy rain periodically, resulting in the suspension of traffic.
As of press time, a total of 139 people have been placed in four different centres with full supplies of food and water to escape potential disaster.
As rain continued to fall heavily in the evening yesterday, Hsieh said that he has ordered the suspension of school and work for today for the safety of the district's citizens.
The heavy rainfall also took the life of an elementary school teacher who taught at the Fengshan Elementary School in the Alishan Township.
The victim, Chang Ya-ju, and her husband, Cheng Wan-ping, served at the school for many years and are well-known within the community.
On the way back to the township from the city, the heavy rain caused a rock to fall on the back of the car Chang was traveling in.
Emergency responders said that though Chang was in the backseat with the couple's daughter, only Chang was injured by the fallen rock, and passed away later in the evening.
To prevent cases like this from happening in areas that have high chances of being effected by rain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has established an emergency response team consisting of officials from the Taiwan Water Corporation, the Taiwan Power Company and the Water Resources Agency (WRA).
The MOEA warned yesterday that Yunlin might be affected by heavy rain, and notified the Yunlin County Government and the Fifth River Management Office of the WRA to stay alert.
Water Rationing Could Be Canceled in Kaohsiung
Due to the amount of water the heavy rain has brought, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Yang Wei-fuu said that there is a high possibility that the planned phase-3 water rationing in Kaohsiung could be cancelled today.
The WRA record showed that the Tsengwen Reservoir accumulated 210.1 millimeters of rain, which is an estimated 37 million tons of water from May 22 until 4 p.m. yesterday.
Likewise, the Nanhua Reservoir accumulated 234.2 millimeters of rain, which is an estimated at 15 million tons of water.