Rescuers on Monday recovered the body of a man who disappeared in a flash flood that swept away two tents near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛) on Sunday.
Search-and-rescue personnel resumed looking for the 53-year-old man surnamed Lu (盧) at about 7am yesterday morning, after low visibility had forced them to halt the search on Sunday evening.
His body was recovered at about 8:30am.
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
Lu was one of four people from two Taichung families carried off early on Sunday as they slept in their tents.
The bodies of Lu’s 12-year-old daughter, a woman surnamed Chen (陳) and her six-year-old son surnamed Lai (賴) had been found on Sunday.
Lu’s wife, surnamed Hu (胡), told rescuers on Sunday that she had only survived because she was sleeping in their vehicle, while Chen’s husband was in his family’s tent, but managed to swim to safety.
State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) yesterday said that its initial investigation showed that faulty insulation around communication cables likely caused a short-circuit that opened the No. 6 floodgate at Nantou Shuili Taguan Power Plant (大觀電廠), upstream of the Lishi Creek, at 4:12am on Sunday.
Taipower’s investigation found that a low water-level alarm went off at 4:21am, alerting an overnight operator, who used the emergency override system to start shutting the gate at 4:28am. The gate was fully closed at 4:43am.
“Nothing like this had ever happened before,” Taipower manager Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) said by telephone. “That floodgate should not have opened up on its own.”
“It takes 15 minutes to fully open and close the floodgates,” Chang said.
Taipower estimates that about 208m3 of water rushes out of a floodgate every second that it is fully open.
The No. 6 floodgate opened for unexplained reasons again at 5:08am, but the operator discovered the incident “within one minute” and shut the gate again with minimal flooding, Taipower said.
Taipower notifies local officials before opening floodgates at its plants and makes public announcements through loudspeakers in the affected areas an hour before a gate is opened.
Camping is prohibited downstream from any hydroelectric plant in Taiwan, and there are warning signs along the rivers in those areas, Taipower said.
Television footage showed that there was a warning sign at the spot where the two families had camped.
“People are not supposed to enter a river bed area, but Taipower is still devastated by the magnitude of the accident,” Chang said. “If human error was a factor, we will of course bear the proper responsibility.”
The company is in the process of reviewing its control systems for flaws that could cause a similar accident, Chang said.
“If we find any, we will update the control systems to improve safety for all our dams,” he said.
The Tourism Bureau said that its initial investigation showed that the families had been camping in a restricted area.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with