TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taiwan has been battered by unusually heavy rains over the last three days, the downpour has washed away bridges, caused mudslides in mountainous regions, and left 20,561 households in the dark.
Flash floods from the torrential rains have claimed the lives of four and injured 35 people, two people are reportedly missing, while 15 people on a hiking tour are trapped in the mountainous regions in Miaoli County.
About 4,000 people in the country have been evacuated because of the deluges caused by the torrential downpour.
The island has an annual average rainfall of around 2,515 millimeters (mm), but the extreme weather conditions over the last 72 hours led to an accumulated rainfall equivalent to six months volume.
For instance, Kaohsiung City reported total rainfall of 1,284 mm, followed by Chiayi County's 1,102 mm, and Nantou County's 1,065 mm, according to data compiled by Taiwan's Water Resource Agency (WRA) from June 2-4, 2017.
The scenic Alishan Mountain (阿里山) region reported a downpour of 603 mm on Saturday alone, according to an Apple Daily report.
The extreme downpour caused flooding in 1,151 areas in Taiwan as of Sunday, most of the flooding were concentrated in central and southern Taiwan's Yunlin County, Nantou City, and Chiayi County, according to data compiled by Water Resource Agency (WRA).
Flood waters have receded in 1,145 areas, but six areas in Yunlin County remain drenched.
Torrential rain and thunderstorms struck northern Taiwan's New Taipei City, Taipei City and Keelung County on June 2, 2017, causing severe deluges before the rain front shifted down south. As of June 2, 2017, flood waters receded in 954 swamped areas in northern Taiwan.
According to extreme rain weather alerts issued by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the front is expected to shift back north in the next few days.
Damages from floods have left 33,101 households in the dark and 20,561 households in Taiwan without clean water supplies, as mud and other sediments in Dajia River (大甲溪) and Gaoping River (高屏溪) have made it unsafe to drink.
Turbidity in both rivers exceeded 12,000 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU), with Gaoping River reportedly reaching 36,000 NTU.
People living in these areas are advised by WRA to store clean tap water, rain water or rely on water tower supplies until the river turbidity levels settle down.