Transport blues in Taiwan follow Typhoon Dujuan

People ride past uprooted trees and damaged motorcycles, in the aftermath of Typhoon Dujuan in Taipei, Taiwan.
PHOTO: Reuters

Transportation blues continued yesterday in the aftermath of Typhoon Dujuan, with roads snapped by landslides and air and sea networks resuming only partial operations.

Tens of thousands of travelers were delayed on Monday as rail and other transportation networks were shut down in anticipation of the typhoon.

The delays extended to Tuesday even after the Central Weather Bureau lifted its land warning on the typhoon for Taiwan proper at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Landslides triggered by Dujuan snapped the Suhua Highway - a highway linking Su'ao and Hualien - in Nan'ao Township, Yilan County.

The highway, a main traffic artery through Eastern Taiwan, was unusable in both directions until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Rockslides and trees uprooted by the storm slowed traffic elsewhere, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

In New Taipei City, landslides blocked off Provincial Highway No. 9A, known as Xinwu Road, in New Taipei City.

In Greater Kaohsiung's Siaogang District, subsidence cracked Chung Lin Road for the second time this year.

The motorcycle lane on Chung Lin Road had undergone repairs for damage created by Taiwan Power Company construction.

The lane was to reopen this week, but the cracks on Tuesday from rough weather have forced the need for fresh repairs.

In a statement released yesterday, Taiwan Power said it used Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM), or flowable fill, as a stopgap to prevent cracks from widening.

The state-run utility said it will apply ground improvement techniques to stabilize the soil before the lane is reopened for use.

Ferries, Flights Suspended

Also on Tuesday, ferry and flight services resumed only partial operations.

Citing choppy waves and rough conditions in the storm's aftermath, the Maritime and Port Bureau said it suspended 120 boat departures along 13 routes.

The bureau said it cancelled 40 departures along the Donggang-Little Liuqiu route; 36 from Kinmen to Wutong in Xiamen; and 12 between Nangan and Beigan in Matsu.

Most air links between Taiwan proper and the outlying islands were down Tuesday until midday. At Kaohsiung International Airport in Siaogang District, at least 42 domestic flights were delayed or cancelled

TransAsia Airways, Daily Air, Uni Air and Far Eastern Air Transport cancelled flights connecting Kinmen, Wang'an and other outlying islands with Taiwan proper until Tuesday afternoon.

The typhoon had a lesser effect on international flights, suspending 10 inbound and outbound flights, Kaohsiung airport authorities said.

Rail Partially Back

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) resumed normal operations on its bullet train network by noon yesterday, but full operations on the regular rail network took longer.

The Taiwan Railways Administration reopened its West Coast Main Line, which connects Pingtung and Keelung, by noon on Tuesday.

But its North Link Line, which connects Su'ao and Hualien, suffered heavy typhoon damage and ran its first trains of the day in the evening.