Flash flooding in Taiwan

Heavy rainfall hit northern Taiwan this week, killing at least 2 people, leaving few missing and injuring more than 20. Heavy rain toppled electricity pylon near New Taipei's Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in the automatic shutdown of the plant. The rains have since moved..

Heavy rainfall hit northern Taiwan this week, killing at least 2 people, leaving few missing and injuring more than 20. Heavy rain toppled electricity pylon near New Taipei's Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in the automatic shutdown of the plant. The rains have since moved toward the center and south of the island and are expected to continue through the weekend. The Central Emergency Operation Centre said a woman motorcyclist and a man out for a walk were killed after they were swept away by floods in New Taipei City. Aviation authorities said roughly 300 domestic and international flights, including 18 to and from Hong Kong, were cancelled.

Similar incident

Last year during the same time, as many as 225 people were killed in heavy torrential rains and floods that wreaked havoc in China with about 2.5 lakh people trapped in the central Hubei Province. More than 6.80 lakh people were affected and 10 townships swamped following continuous heavy rainfall.

Mei-yu front

Moisture from Tropical Cyclone moved along the Mei-yu front across south-eastern China and Taiwan, leading to the massive rainfall.

The Mei-yu front is a semi-stationary boundary that forms during the late spring and summer across south-eastern Asia. This front is known for triggering torrential rainfall.

Analysis

The rain started on June 1, and was easing up in Taipei by Friday afternoon. However, outpouring that lasted for 11 hours caused major flooding.  

Out of the 163 mm of rain that received Taipei on Friday, 120 mm (4.72 inches) fell in just two hours. The floods quickly inundated the area and turned streets into rivers. Northern parts of New Taipei City was hit the hardest on Friday with rain exceeding to 300 mm.

Torrential rainfall continued through Saturday as portions of the country received additional rainfall of over 600 mm (23.62 inches). Two-day rainfall totals neared 1,200 mm (47.24 inches) at Nantianchi in Taoyuan District.

With no rescue boats available, quick-thinking police officers found the answer in a local toy shop, in the form of a bright green inflatable turtle.

Assessment

Last year, the government had underestimated the intensity of the rain and the risk of flooding. The same story is repeating again. The government said after the 2016 flooding, that there would be no more flood trouble after they spent more than $10 million (HK$2.6 million) to improve the water pumping station facilities. But how come it’s still flooding?

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