Heavy rains sweep Taiwan: Taipei City overwhelmed by flooding waters

Heavy rains sweep Taiwan: Taipei City overwhelmed by flooding waters

Heavy rainfall accompanied with thunderstorms and hail hit Taiwan, causing massive flooding across the Greater Taipei region on Thursday afternoon, July 23, 2015. 143 areas of the metropolis were overwhelmed by the flood waters, and all traffic was suspended across affected areas.

The swift rain abruptly overwhelmed low parts of the region affecting public infrastructure in the districts of Datong, Shilin and Zhongshan. Taipei City's Disaster Prevention and Rescue Information center has received 130 flood alerts, by the mid-afternoon. Sanchong measured more than 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain in less than two hours, thus becoming an urban lake. This was the worst flooding in the district since the landfall of Typhoon "Morakot" in 2009.

Zhongshan district measured 112 mm (4.4 inches) of precipitation in a little more than an hour, according to Yeh Chun-hsing, an official of the Taipei City Fire Department. The district of Banqiao reported 50 mm (2 inches) of rain in a few hours, which was enough to form a 20x6 meters (66x20 feet) pool of water in the area.

The water treatment capacities of the Taipei City's sewage systems were designed to hold 78 mm (3.1 inches) of accumulated rainfall. As the precipitation amounts exceeded 100 mm (3.9 inches), the system wasn't quick enough to discharge the excess water amount, which caused parts of the city to flood, as Yeh explained.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) warned that heavy rainfall would affect the northern areas including the cities of Taoyuan and Hsinchu. Heavy winds and gales were forecasted across the coastal areas of northern Taiwan. 

Chongxin Bridge Flea Market, Zhengyi North Road, Xinyi West Street and Xinbei Expressway near the Sanchong District Administrative Office were also temporarily flooded.

Featured image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS acquired July 23, 2015.

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