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Typhoon causes headaches for people returning from east, south(update)

Typhoon causes headaches for people returning from east, south(update)

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Traffic disruption involving flight delays and closures on the nation's railways and highways in mountainous areas due to approaching Typhoon Dujuan were affecting people in eastern and southern Taiwan trying to get home from a three-day holiday. Suspension of the Taiwan Railway Administration's trains along the eastern Taiwan corridor after midday could have the strongest impact, as rail services are at the heart of eastern Taiwan's transportation network. Tens of thousands of people in eastern Taiwan wanting to get back to Taipei and other cities in the west for work after the Mid-Autumn Festival flocked to train stations in Taitung and Hualien earlier than scheduled in order to catch trains already packed by travelers who had reserved seats. Complaints mounted as queues built up in train stations: Many people were unable to get tickets, and those who did had to suffer from packed carriages all the way home. "The officials should have coordinated the situation better instead of leaving us here like refugees," one of the passengers was quoted as saying by local media outside the Taitung Train Station. The same thing happened on the high-speed rail system, which serves the western part of the island, with stations in central and southern Taiwan reporting extremely crowded conditions from late morning. Taiwan High Speed Rail announced late the previous day that its services would be suspended after 3 p.m. Monday. Road traffic was problematic as well, mainly due to the full closure from 2 p.m. of the coastal Suhua Highway (????), which links the counties of Yilan and Hualien and is part of Highway No. 9 that stretches from Taipei in the north to the southernmost county of Pingtung. Highways that pass through mountainous areas, including east-west Provincial highways 7 and 8, also had partial road closures. National Freeway No. 5, which connects Taipei with Yilan, saw tailbacks stretching for several kilometers soon after midday as motorists began to head back to the capital to avoid being caught in traffic jams and stormy conditions expected for late Monday and early Tuesday. However, a cancellation of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) controls on Freeway No.5 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. could help ease the congestion as vehicles carrying two people or under were allowed on the freeways. "The worst part of the traffic jam is already over," said Chen Ting-tsai (???), a transport official with the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau. Disruption of the country's air links further added to the travel woes. As of 5 p.m. Monday, 12 domestic flights had been delayed and 96 flights had been canceled, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). On international flights, 60 were delayed and 125 were canceled, it said. More flight cancellations from local carriers were expected later in the day, as rain and wind were expected to become more pronounced as the day progressed. Nearly all Taiwan municipalities announced school and office closures for Monday evening due to the typhoon. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-27 15:35 GMT+08:00