Rock removal to take two weeks

By Lauly Li ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Keelung City Government said yesterday that it will adopt a non-explosive technique to remove a giant, 2,000-ton rock perched high on a hillside.

Holes will be drilled into the rock before a “silent static cracking technique” is used to break it into pieces and remove it.

The Keelung City Public Work Bureau (PWB) said that equipment will be moved up the hill today to allow work to begin on Wednesday. It will take approximately 12 working days to break the rock and clean up the surrounding area. Torrential rains wreaked havoc on several parts of Taiwan over the weekend. On Saturday in an area near the Bisha Fishing Port (碧砂漁港) in Keelung, landslides demolished a house that was situated at the foot of a hill. In another incident in the same area, a huge boulder rolled down a mountainside and hit a passing car. None of the passengers were injured. The 2,000-ton rock is currently perched on the same Keelung hill.

The PWB said it dispatched officials and invited domestic geological experts and military engineers to assess potential rock-cracking methods yesterday. According to the Keelung City Government, the rock is approximately 8 by 10 meters wide, 10 meters high and weighs around 2,000 tons.

Lee Tong-cheng (李銅城), director-general of the PWB, said that following a meeting with experts from various fields yesterday, the Keelung government has decided to adopt the “silent static cracking method.” The technique involves drilling holes into the rock and filling them with a powder composition that will expand, fracturing and splitting the rock. Lee told The China Post that this process will not use explosive components. Given the steepness of the hillside, it will take approximately two days to transport the drilling machine and tools to the top of the hill. Lee added that once the equipment arrives on the site, work will begin as soon as possible.