Military on stand-by to assist as torrential rain hits Taiwan

Taipei--Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said Saturday it has set up a disaster response center and put military personnel, vehicles and apparatus on stand-by as strong torrential rain that has drenched Taiwan since early this week continue to pummel the island.

Some 18,000 military personnel are on stand-by, while more than 3,900 vehicles and boats are ready for action, the ministry said.

In addition, 35 military personnel have already been deployed in the disaster-prone areas of Namasia, Taoyuan and Liouguei districts in the mountainous part of southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City to help with possible evacuations, it said.

The plum rain that has been affecting Taiwan since Monday started to intensify on Friday, introducing torrential rainfall to most parts of the country.

The Central Weather Bureau has issued heavy rain warnings for most of Taiwan, adding that mountainous areas in the central and southern regions could see the worst weather conditions.

Taichung, Nantou, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Pingtung are likely to see accumulated rainfall of more than 350 millimeters within 24 hours, forecasters said.

Residents in the affected areas should remain vigilant against mudslides, falling rocks and flooding, the bureau warned.

Bureau data showed that as of 2 p.m., the West Dawu Mountain in Pingtung has recorded the most rain in Taiwan, registering an accumulated rainfall of 272 mm over the past 14 hours.

There were mudslides around the country Saturday but no reports of injuries so far.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel