Tropical storm slams South Taiwan

Tropical storm slams South Taiwan
Vehicles are seen partially submerged in floodwaters caused by Tropical Storm Kong-rey.

TAIPEI - Many residents in Chiayi, Yunlin, Tainan and Kaohsiung have suffered from floods brought by Tropical Storm Kong-Rey's heavy rains, and the nation's agricultural losses totaled around NT$100 million (S$4.26 million).

Rains fell heaviest at noon yesterday, with total rainfall amounting to over 800 millimeters in Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pintung, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said. The conditions prompted the CWB to caution residents living on ground floors to be aware of severe flooding.

Taiwan was clear of the storm by yesterday afternoon as Kong -Rey picked up speed and made its way northward to Japan. The land warning was lifted by 8:30 p.m.

According to the CWB, there will be less rain in Taiwan's west coast, but residents living in South Taiwan will still encounter heavy rainfall, and Northern Taiwan will see short cloudbursts. Four-meter-high waves were seen off Taiwan's southwestern coast and around Southern Taiwan.

Despite farmers in Yunlin braving the rain to harvest vegetables by hand, agricultural losses have totaled around NT$100 million as of 5 p.m. yesterday, said the Agriculture and Food Agency.

Chiayi suffered the worst of all of Taiwan's farming counties with a whopping NT$66,290,000. These figures are the accumulated loses resulting not only from Kong-Rey's effects but also Tropical Storm Trami's impact on the island, which hit earlier this month.

Sudden Suspension of School and Work

Chiayi City announced the suspension of school and work early yesterday morning, but many residents had set out even earlier to get to school and offices on time. This led to a number of complaints regarding the belated suspension.

According to many residents, Chiayi resembled an enormous swimming pool, with many people and vehicles stranded on the roads. A nursing home and many local buildings were flooded as well - the residents of which were rescued by the Chiayi Fire Department in life rafts.

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