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Rain disrupts flights, high-speed rail services

TAIPEI--Torrential rainfall in Taiwan caused several floods that disrupted the flight schedule at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, officials at Taiwan's main gateway said yesterday.

EVA Airways said 24 morning flights were delayed due to technical problems over the departure control system, affecting thousands of passengers.

The nation's second largest airline carrier said flooding in Taoyuan County's Nankan area, where its control center is located, caused the computers to crash.

Passengers had to board planes through manual check-ins, which led to delays of up to three hours per flight, said Jessica Tung, an EVA Airways public relations officer.

The problem was solved by 9 a.m. and the normal flight schedule was resumed, the airline said.

Meanwhile, a Japan Airlines plane was temporarily stranded on the apron due to flooding, said Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Corp., which oversees the airport.

The plane was finally hauled off the apron early in the afternoon, the corporation said.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, as of 4 p.m., a total of 40 international or domestic flights operated by different airline companies have been delayed or canceled due to poor weather condition nationwide.

No other incidents regarding aviation facilities have been reported, the ministry noted.

Net Causes Temporary Shutdown of High-Speed Rail

Another traffic incident happened in southern Taiwan. Taiwan High Speed Rail in Kaohsiung resumed service at 12 p.m. yesterday after one of its sections was shut down due to a physical obstacle, according to the company.

The temporary shutdown affected an estimated 35,000 passengers, said Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC).

THSRC found at 6:45 a.m. that a net used to grow vegetables was stuck on the lines providing electricity to the railway, resulting in the closure of the system between Tainan Station and Kaohsiung's Zuoying Station. THSRC then carried out urgent repairs, successfully removing the net at 9:55 a.m.

After the power supply, railway and structure were confirmed to be secure, the service was resumed at noon.

The shutdown was not caused by the torrential rainfall which had caused floods and mudslides on the island, THSRC explained.

In addition, the company adjusted the schedules and routes between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in the morning.

Affected passengers traveling that day could not request refunds for the delay because the responsibility of the delay did not fall on the company, THSRC said, adding that passengers who had purchased tickets and not boarded the train could ask for refunds or change their tickets without a surcharge.

THSRC is now collecting evidence and planning to take legal action over the incident.

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 Ma stresses typhoon-level rain precautions 
EVA Airways passengers swarm check-in counters in Taoyuan County's Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, yesterday. Recent heavy downpours caused flooding in a basement of one of the airline's buildings in Taoyuan, resulting in the failure of the company's departure control system.

(CNA)

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