Over NT$1.3 bil. in typhoon losses for agricultural sector

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CNA

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Agricultural losses from Typhoon Megi, which battered Taiwan on Tuesday, have reached more than NT$1.31 billion (US$42 million), the Council of Agriculture (COA) said, citing estimates valid as of 11 a.m. Thursday.

Yunlin County in the central-south part of western Taiwan suffered the heaviest losses at NT$370.75 million, or 28 percent of the national total, the COA said.

Taichung City was next, reporting NT$183.84 million in agricultural losses, followed by Kaohsiung City with NT$182.13 million in losses, Yilan County with NT$147.46 million and Tainan City NT$98.97 million, the COA said.

Typhoon Megi made landfall Tuesday in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, causing four deaths and hundreds of injuries and leaving more than 3.89 million households without power before moving away toward China early Wednesday. On Thursday, rescuers were still digging for three people who may have been buried in a mudslide in Kaohsiung.

Crop damage accounted for most of the losses, with 25,726 hectares of farmland and NT$1.24 billion-worth of crops damaged, according to the COA.

It said rice growers took the biggest hit, suffering crop losses of NT$178.08 million and damage to 8,813 hectares of farmland.

Growers of bananas, guavas, peanuts and grapes also suffered heavy losses of NT$160.53 million, NT$111.66 million, NT$55.91 million and NT$54.64 million, respectively, the COA said.

The livestock sector faced NT$4.36 million in losses, largely due to the loss of ducks, chickens, and pigs, the COA said.

It said the total damage to agricultural facilities was estimated at NT$60.43 million as of Thursday morning, with Kaohsiung, Yunlin and Tainan suffering the heaviest losses.

Damage to livestock and poultry breeding facilities was around NT$7.12 million, mainly due to losses in Taichung, Yunlin and Taoyuan, the COA said.

Meanwhile, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, it was estimated that Typhoon Megi had caused damage of more than NT$161 million at 814 school campuses around Taiwan, the Ministry of Education said.