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Heavy rain inundates east, 182 stranded

The China Post news staff--A total of 182 tourists were stranded in a forest resort in Yilan County yesterday, all safe and sound, as road traffic in most parts of the county was cut off by waist-deep water after the downpour over the last few days.

Meanwhile, offices and schools in northern Taiwan were shut down yesterday as a result of the heavy rain.

The roads connecting the Taipingshan Forest Resort to the rest of county were cut off by rain-induced landslides, Lin Hung-chung (林鴻忠), director of the Council of Agriculture's Luodong Forestry Office, said yesterday.

The 182 stranded tourists have to spend a night at the Taipingshan Lodge, for free, until the rain lets up and the roads can be open to traffic again, according to Lin, who called on the public not to go to the forest resort because all the footpaths there were closed.

The Hualien and Yilan County governments closed schools and offices yesterday due to strong winds and torrential rains brought by Typhoon Nalgae and the northeast monsoon.

Schools and offices in Hualien in eastern Taiwan were closed for the whole day, while those in Yilan in northeastern Taiwan were closed for the afternoon. Chinese Culture University in Taipei also canceled classes due to strong winds and heavy rainfall in the Yangmingshan area, but its office remained open.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) decided at 8:00 a.m. to close the section of Provincial Highway No. 9. (more commonly known as Suhua Highway) between Suao and Nanao because of heavy rain.

In response to heavy flooding in Datong Township of Yilan County and Guangfu Township of Hualien County, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Sunday dispatched army personnel to help evacuate residents there.

Some 40 villagers from Datong Township and 200 residents of Dahsing, Dafeng, Dama and Dachuan villages in Guangfu Township have been evacuated, the MND said.

As of 8:10 a.m. yesterday, the accumulated rainfall in the Yilan areas of Niudou and Gulu was 465 mm and 408.5 mm, respectively, the Central Weather Bureau said. In Daan and Dahsing in Hualien, 350 mm of rainfall had been recorded as of 8:00 p.m. Sunday, the bureau said.

A red code landslide warning, the highest, has been issued for 11 rivers in four villages in Hualien County's Guangfu Township, and a yellow alert was issued for another seven rivers.

The CWB warned of torrential rain in eastern and northeastern Taiwan, but said it would ease this afternoon.

It further warned against rock falls in mountainous areas and flooding in low-lying areas of Yilan and Hualien.

Rain in northeastern and eastern Taiwan was expected to decrease in intensity today evening thanks to the departure of the typhoon and the weakening of the northeast monsoon, intermittent showers and isolated downpours, however, were expected overnight and today.

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 Heavy rain inundates east, 182 stranded 
Residents of more than 100 households in two communities in Yilan's Dongshan Township leave their flooded homes yesterday, amid heavy rain. They could only take some hand luggage with them as they fled.

(CNA)

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