Wu­lai cut off in wake of Soude­lor

Res­i­dents of dev­as­tated area hit by food, sup­plies short­age

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

The con­se­quences of Typhoon Soude­lor are still be­ing felt, as the area Wu­lai ( ) has been dev­as­tated by se­vere land­slides, cut­ting the re­gion off from the rest of Tai­wan.

The Wu­lai re­gion was iso­lated due to ex­ten­sive land­slides and col­lapses on the Xinwu Road (

), the only trans­port link con­nect­ing Wu­lai to the out­side world. In ad­di­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices were also cut off as Chunghwa Tele­com’s nearby base sta­tions were dam­aged.

New Taipei City’s Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter con­firmed yesterday that two men who lived in the Wu­lai re­gion have died as a re­sult of the mon­ster typhoon. They were taken to the hos­pi­tal by he­li­copter but didn’t sur­vive af­ter emer­gency treat­ment. Another 3,100 peo­ple who were trapped were re­ported safe and 100 oth­ers who were miss­ing were also found, the cen­ter said yesterday.

Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal news re­ports, the 100 vil­lagers are now be­ing shel­tered at Xiaoyi ( ) Po­lice Sta­tion but have been hit by a food short­age. The same prob­lem is af­fect­ing the afore­men­tioned 3,100. Food, salt, can­dles and bleach will be air­dropped for them. Premier Mao Chi-kuo, ( ) who toured the front lines to bet­ter com­pre­hend the sit­u­a­tion yesterday, said that it is more im­por­tant to re­store com­mu­ni­ca­tions as soon as pos­si­ble so res­cue per­son­nel are able to con­tact each other.

It is sus­pected that the moun­tains around Nan­shi River (

) were over-de­vel­oped, dam­ag­ing soil and af­fect­ing wa­ter con­ser­va­tion in Wu­lai’s slope lands. That in turn led to fur­ther land­slides fol­low­ing heavy rain­fall, said re­ports.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) also stated that once the res­cue op­er­a­tion is com­plete, he will be­gin a de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the sus­pi­cions re­lat­ing to over-de­vel­op­ment.

The land­slides not only shut down com­mu­ni­ca­tions and trapped vil­lagers, but also af­fected hot spring busi­nesses in the re­gion. Re­ports said that out­door hot spring ar­eas have been com­pletely cov­ered by mud.

Cur­rently, only four- wheeldrive mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles can ac­cess Xinwu Road at the 10.1 kilo­me­ter mark. Peo­ple who live in Wu­lai are also able to reach their homes on foot, which takes around an hour, said the re­ports.

The Min­istry of De­fense said it have sent a to­tal of 376 peo­ple, two shovel loaders and one exca- va­tor, among other equip­ment, to as­sist in the res­cue of lo­cals in Wu­lai and the re­cov­ery af­ter the dis­as­ter. Two he­li­copters and 36 peo­ple from the R.O.C. Army Spe­cial Forces are also as­sist­ing in the op­er­a­tion and send­ing the wounded to hos­pi­tals. The Min­istry of De­fense also called on the public to watch out for land­slides, col­lapses and fall­ing rocks.

CNA

1. Premier Mao Chi-kuo ( ), right in front row, or­ange vest, in­spects the dam­age by Wu­lai Bridge, yesterday. Huge land­slides and col­lapses oc­curred in Wu­lai af­ter the typhoon, al­legedly due to over-de­vel­op­ment in the area. 2. Lo­cals from Wu­lai ( ) wait at the con­trol point with their own sup­plies, yesterday. Typhoon Soude­lor dam­aged roads in Wu­lai, cut­ting the area off.

3. A vic­tim trapped in Wu­lai alights from the UH-1H he­li­copter sent by the army, yesterday. The he­li­copters are be­ing used to trans­fer pa­tients to hos­pi­tals from the moun­tain­ous area.

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