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Taipei City restored quickly after Matmo departs: Mayor Hau

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The damages in Taipei City will be repaired and everything restored by 6 p.m., announced Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday after Typhoon Matmo swept into Northern Taiwan.

Hau headed to Taipei's Dunhua South Road yesterday, inspecting the clearing of fallen trees that lined the street and the degree of damage made by the typhoon.

The damages made in Taipei City were relatively slight since the typhoon entered the island on Tuesday night, said Hau. “We can say that Taipei is blessed ... I stayed at the city government building last night and inspected the city's losses and damages today,” the mayor said.

Around 350 trees fell in Taipei City because of the typhoon; the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Public Works Department's Parks and Street Lights Office began tidying the streets at 6 a.m. yesterday. “I felt really touched when I saw my colleagues working in the wind and rain,” said Hau.

Although the city canceled classes and work yesterday due to the typhoon, the garbage collectors will still be on duty as the citizens may need to get rid of clutter and waste after the typhoon, said Hau.

Trees in Taipei suffered a much more serious attack by Typhoon Soulik last August, but the city government is better prepared this year and the cleaning teams more experienced, Hau added. “By working together, we raised our efficiency and are able to recycle the fallen trees after the cleanup,” Hau noted.

DEP Commissioner Wu Sheng-chung (吳盛忠) also stated that Typhoon Matmo caused less damage to Taipei's trees than Soulik had. “The DEP began working at 8 a.m. this morning, having dispatched 3,000 people to break down the fallen trees and to clean up the sidewalks and streets ... over 1,000 tons of garbage and trees have been removed,” said Wu.

Over 30,000 New Taipei Households Experience Power Failure

While most in Taipei City made it through the typhoon unscathed and unhindered, over 30,000 households in New Taipei complained of power failure caused by the typhoon's gales.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) called for the Taiwan Power Company to repair the power cables and restore electricity for the affected households.

Most of the households that suffered power cuts were located in Tucheng (土城), at nearly 10,000 households, while almost all of Pingxi's 2,000 households experienced power failure.

Power was restored around noon yesterday.

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