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September 24, 2017

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President promises compensation for agricultural losses

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou promised Wednesday that the government will compensate farmers who suffered losses as a result of the torrential rain over the past few days.

The subsidies offered this year will be more than in the past and the application procedure will be made simpler to allow for quick processing, Ma said during a trip to Taoyuan County, where he inspected paddy fields devastated by rain.

According to the latest statistics compiled by the Council of Agriculture, the rain caused NT$172.52 million in agricultural losses around Taiwan, including NT$140.2 million in crop damage.

Taoyuan County has been hit the hardest, suffering losses of NT$85.66 million.

Other areas that have sustained serious damage include Nantou County, Pingtung County, Kaohsiung City and Chiayi County.

Meanwhile, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs shows that seven industrial parks in New Taipei City, Taoyuan County and Hsinchu County were inundated at one point, with 45 companies affected and more than NT$280 million in losses incurred.

The rain also interrupted the power supply to more than 87,000 households at one point, Taiwan Power Company said.

During a trip to Taoyuan County to inspect severe flooding caused by the rain, Premier Sean Chen said Taiwan needs to change its approach to flood prevention because the frequency of heavy rains has increased due to climate change.

In addition to acquiring rainfall radar, the Central Weather Bureau will also collaborate with the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction to produce more accurate small-area precipitation forecasts, Chen said.

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