Progress seen in typhoon reconstruction efforts
Wulai’s only transport link to the outside areas is expected to be cleared within 10 days, New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (
) stated yesterday as the Greater Taipei area gradually gets back on its feet after Typhoon Soudelor.
Electricity lines are slowly being restored and water stations have been also been set up in the Wulai area, Hou said.
Thousands of households still remain in the dark, including 1,300 households in New Taipei City, around 200 in Taipei City, around 100 in Taiyuan City and around 200 in remote areas, Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) stated yesterday.
A total of 1,300 households will regain electricity within three days, while a total of approximately 4.5 million households were affected nationwide as of press time. Many of the outages were mainly due to blocked roads and damaged electric lines caused by falling trees, Taipower said.
Taipower stated that the repairs will be conducted alongside local government cleanup efforts. Many of the areas in need of restored power include Wulai’s Rahaw Township ( ), Fushan Township (
) and Hsiao-I Township ( ), where 600 households are still without electricity. In Xindian District, around 180 households are still in the dark in Kuan Hsing Township ( ), while there are around 500 households without power in Sansia District.
As repair efforts can only be made on foot in some areas for now, Taipower expects that after the roads are cleared, electricity outages could be finished within three days.
Around 120 households scattered around Taipei City’s Yang Ming Shan area have been affected by outages caused by collapsed trees. Taipower said its technicians would be able to finish repairs within a day once fallen trees are cleared away.
Chunghwa Telecom ( ) also announced that those affected by telephone service outages will receive deductions or free payment offers starting from Aug. 8. Overdue phone bills and service cancellations will be delayed as well.
Short on Manpower
Strewn trees across the Greater Taipei area are still slowly being disposed of as affected sectors have stated a shortage of both manpower and equipment.
At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Taipei City asked for equipment to help with tree disposal. Premier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) asked the Ministry of Economic Affairs to conduct negotiations.
An unnamed cleaner stated in a local media interview that 5,100 workers were employed by the Parks and Streetlight Office and environmental protection departments to handle 16,000 fallen trees, far less than the approximately 8,600 workers deployed following 2013’s Typhoon Soulik, which caused the fall of 4,000 trees.
New Taipei City estimates that the strewn trees will be cleared away by today, with a cleaning force of around 7,500 people.
Relief Supplies Platform Set Up
The New Taipei City Government set up a “Supply Bank” platform, which will aggregate donations to distribute among disaster-stricken citizens in areas such as Wulai, Xindian, and Sansia.
Suitable donations include canned foods, mixed congee, bottled water and sanitary products, Director of the New Taipei City Social Welfare Department Chang Chin-li ( ) stated.
Since Typhoon Soudelor swept through Taiwan, the New Taipei City Government has sent five air-drops into disaster-hit areas and has accumulated a total of 20,000 kilograms of daily supplies.
Disaster compensation funds were also issued to 1,550 households, with each household receiving NT$10,000.
For donation information, refer to 02-29618094 for the “Supply Bank” platform, or the New Taipei City at 02-29603456, extension numbers 3811 and 3813.
(Left) Nanshi River ( ), the main river that goes through Wulai, is pictured stable yet muddy, yesterday. The river was believed to be the main cause of high-levels of contaminated water in the Greater Taipei area, which then caused citizens to go through days of undrinkable water. (Right) Soldiers shift through waste on Wulai Old Street yesterday. The Army was deployed to assist in reconstruction of Wulai areas affected by landslides during Typhoon Soudelor.