One dead, two missing after storms lash Taiwan

One of the many homes deluged by flood waters in Jinshan district in New Taipei City yesterday after torrential rain swept through the island.
One of the many homes deluged by flood waters in Jinshan district in New Taipei City yesterday after torrential rain swept through the island.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

At least five injured as heavy rain unleashes massive floods across island's north

TAIPEI • Roads turned into rivers in northern Taiwan yesterday as rain lashed the island, killing one person and leaving two others missing.

Flood waters surged into cars, homes and businesses after 600mm of rain fell in less than 11 hours across some areas.

Rescuers found the body of a female motorcyclist who had been washed into a ditch in New Taipei City, one of the worst-hit areas.

The National Fire Agency said that at least five people were injured during the deluge, including a driver whose truck overturned and another man who was buried in a mudslide.

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One person from New Taipei City and another from Keelung city were reported missing after being swept off, said the agency. A road bridge in New Taipei City was smashed in half by a swollen river.

Some 15 hikers were stranded on a mountain in central Miaoli, but were thought to be unharmed and to have sufficient supplies.

The rain started late on Thursday, and the Central Weather Bureau warned that it would be moving south. Further bouts of heavy rain yesterday and today would affect the west of Taiwan, which should take "serious precautions", said the bureau.

In Keelung, a young girl waiting at a bus stop was found with no signs of life. She was later resuscitated at the hospital.

Cars sank window-deep in the floods across the north. Traffic came to a standstill as people abandoned their vehicles, with TV footage showing passers-by desperately holding on to a floundering motorcyclist to stop her from being swept away.

Residents tried valiantly but hopelessly to bail out their water-logged shops and houses.

At one kindergarten in Taipei, as many as 53 children had to be evacuated after flood waters poured in.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu cancelled all previously scheduled events for the day, and was making inspection tours of disaster areas.

The rain started late on Thursday, and the Central Weather Bureau warned that it would be moving south. Further bouts of heavy rain yesterday and today would affect the west of Taiwan, which should take "serious precautions", said the bureau.

At least 258 domestic and international flights were cancelled or postponed because of heavy rain, said the aviation authorities.

At the Taoyuan international airport, a shopping area flooded as rain poured through the roof. Thunderstorms also forced the smaller Songshan airport to shut down for two hours.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE CHINA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2017, with the headline 'One dead, two missing after storms lash Taiwan'. Print Edition | Subscribe