Heavy rain causes road, air traffic disruptions

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Taiwan has seen traffic disruptions both on the land and in the air following downpours caused by the combined effect of northeasterly winds and Tropical Storm Khanun. The Water Resource Agency has issued flooding alerts for various parts of Taiwan. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan has seen traffic disruptions both on the land and in the air following downpours caused by the combined effect of northeasterly winds and Tropical Storm Khanun, transportation authorities said Saturday.

The Directorate General of Highways (DGH) said two major highways — the Central Cross-Island Highway that connects Taichung and Hualien, as well as Suhua Highway along Taiwan’s rugged east coast — will be closed temporarily for safety reasons.

There have been several incidents of mudslides and falling rocks between the Dayuling and Taroko National Park section along the Central Cross-Island Highway, which will be closed for 24 hours until 8 a.m. Sunday, the DGH said.

Likewise, landslides have snapped the section between Su’ao and Chongde on the Suhua Highway, which will remain closed until at least 3 p.m. Saturday.

In addition, parts of the Provincial Highway 7, 7A, 11 and 11A were damaged and will remain closed until 5 p.m. Saturday, the DGH said.

According to the Civil Aeronautics Administration, between midnight and 10 a.m. Saturday, 15 domestic flights and one international flight were canceled, while one international flight was delayed due to the heavy rain.

Also, the Water Resource Agency has issued flooding alerts for parts of Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan.

In its latest alert at 11 a.m., the Central Weather Bureau warned of extremely torrential rain in Taitung and the mountainous areas of Pingtung County in southernmost Taiwan, where an accumulated rainfall of 500 millimeters or more could be expected within the next 24 hours.

Other heavy rain-affected regions include northeastern Taiwan, the greater Taipei area, central Taiwan and mountainous areas in southern Taiwan, forecasters said. 

By Lee Hsin-Yin