Taiwan govt urges vigilance against rockslides

Taiwan govt urges vigilance against rockslides
A woman holds her umbrella while walking against strong winds as Tropical Storm Kong-rey hits Taiwan, in Taipei August 29, 2013.

TAIPEI - Government officials yesterday urged people to maintain a high alert against possible landslides, mudslides and rock falls that could be triggered by the past days of heavy rain. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday that the heavy rains dumped across Taiwan by Tropical Storm Kong-Rey will generally let up beginning today.

But the bureau cautioned that people, especially those living or working in mountainous areas, should stay on alert against possible slides that can be set off by soil loosened by torrential downpours.

Landslides and rock slides damaged more roads and bridges, especially those in the southwestern county of Chiayi, and shut down services on some railway lines while more people were evacuated from mountain areas as a safety precaution.

Government agencies continued to asses the rising costs to the agriculture and transport sectors.

Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan renewed calls for the adoption of new strategies and techniques to cope with the floods that often inflict heavier damage than typhoons.

The Directorate General of Highways had closed at least six roads, including three provincial highways, saying three were scheduled to reopen later in the day and the others this week.

In New Taipei's Ruifang Township, two people were injured when their car was hit by a rockfall at the 82-km mark on Provincial Highway No. 2. They were both hospitalized.

In Taipei, there were 28 reports of damage caused by rain, which was forecast to remain heavy to torrential.

Taipei's Emergency Operations Center said all 28 reports were handled by city authorities.

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