Record rains in south
The China Post news staff
August 9, 2009, 9:35 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Typhoon Morakot left Taiwan yesterday after dumping record levels of rainfalls that flooded southern parts of the island and killed at least one person.
Morakot, which made landfall late Friday night, was downgraded to a tropical storm as its eye exited the island Saturday afternoon, but torrential rains continued to torment many areas in southern and eastern Taiwan.
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said rainfall in Pingtung County could hit as high as 2,500 millimeters, a record in any area in Taiwan.
Linpien, in Pingtung, experienced its worst flooding in 50 years, with the town submerged in water one-story high, said the county magistrate, Tsao Chi-hung.
Many residents had to climb to their rooftops to await evacuation.
Military servicemen were dispatched to Pingtung on rescue missions upon the county government's request, Tsao said.
"We've never seen such heavy rainfalls over the past 50 years. We're scared," the United Evening News cited a Pingtung resident as saying.
The CWB also raised its precipitation forecast for Kaohsiung, Tainan and Chiayi to high levels ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 millimeters.
Hsiaokang district in Kaohsiung City was submerged in knee-deep water.
In Kaohsiung County, may roads and bridges were closed while firefighters and police officers evacuated residents from flooded villages and townships.
In Tainan County, dozens of residents of Hsinho district along the Hutou Creek woke up in the middle of the night to find their homes flooded.