Greater Taipei dispatches 13,500 cleaners to remove over 4,400 fallen trees

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Greater Taipei governments yesterday dispatched over 13,500 cleaners to clean up after Typhoon Soulik. More than 4,400 trees in the area were blown down in the storm's powerful winds and torrential rain.

The Taipei City Government Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said the department dispatched 3,557 cleaners, cleaning over 1,032 tons of debris, garbage and tree branches.

The Taipei City Government said Typhoon Soulik felled more than 1,300 road trees in the city, some damaging vehicles and disrupting transportation.

The DEP said that over 1,000 tree branches weighing a total of 554 tons littered the streets, noting that a number of trunks measuring as long as 7 meters long lay on Heping West Road. The DEP added that it took 30 minutes to remove each fallen trunk from the street.

As Typhoon Soulik swept across Northern Taiwan, nearly 59,000 homes suffered power outages. Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) had restored power in most homes by Sunday.

The Taipei government said the 1999 hotline service received over 25,000 calls from Taipei residents over Friday and Saturday, noting that 15,000 calls were made on Saturday, the most ever received by the service, which was established in 2008.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said given that many vehicles were damaged by falling trees and flying debris, the local government will offer legal consultation services to people concerning the application for national compensation.

New Taipei City

New Taipei City said there were 3,112 fallen trees and 305 shop signs scattered on streets across the municipality, noting that in light of this, the city dispatched over 10,000 people, including 6,000 cleaners and officials from various departments.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu said he requested every department of the city government join the cleanup effort, noting that he expects the work to be completed today.

The New Taipei Tourism and Travel Department said it will announce the new dates of the 2013 Hohaiyan Rock Music Festival today. The festival was only able to hold one of its four days before being postponed because of the typhoon.

The department said the city government has sent cleaners and dispatched excavators to clean Fulong Beach, where the music festival's first day was held and where the next three days are scheduled to be held, hoping to restore the beach and resume the festival as soon as possible.