Roads and bridges in Taiwan closed; thousands still with no power due to typhoon

TAIPEI - Roads and bridges in several areas around Taiwan have been closed and over 27,000 households are without power in the wake of Typhoon Usagi, which brought strong winds and heavy rains throughout the country.

As of 9:17 a.m. yesterday, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) had closed 12 roads and bridges, saying eight were scheduled to reopen Sunday and three next week, while officials are evaluating when to open the remaining one.

Among them is the Baisha Bridge section on the Central Cross-Island Highway, which was covered by more than 200,000 cubic meters of rocks and rubble from landslides, the DGH said.

Lin Wen-hsiung, an official with the DGH, said repair work has been temporarily suspended, given the continuing rain and rock falls in the area. The bridge is likely to reopen on Sept. 27, he estimated.

As of 10 a.m. yesterday, the state-run Taiwan Power Co. said over 27,000 households, most of them in Southern Taiwan's Pingtung County, are still without power. Over 100,000 households have been affected by power outages in the past few days, said officials.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railways Administration resumed rail service on the Hualien-Taitung Line in Eastern Taiwan at 8 a.m. yesterday, as well as on a section of the South-Link Line at 10 a.m., after clearing debris caused by mudslides from the tracks. All of its railway services are now in operation, the administration said.

The Kinmen County Government, meanwhile, announced Sunday that it has closed a ferry service between Taiwan's outlying island of Kinmen and China's Xiamen because of large waves.

Of note, from Thursday, Sept. 19 to 11 a.m. yesterday, Tianhsiang in Hualien saw the nation's largest accumulated rainfall of 775 millimeters, followed by 719 mm in Hsiangyang in Taitung and 691 mm in Gulu in Yilan, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

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