Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Each household affected by flooding will receive a relief payment of NT$20,000 (US$652) from the government, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said Saturday in the wake of a tropical depression that devastated parts of central and southern Taiwan over the past few days.
Those affected may also qualify for tax deductions depending on the severity of the flooding, Lai said, adding that where homes need to be rebuilt, homeowners can also apply for loan interest relief.
Lai said he has directed the Council of Agriculture to launch disaster relief efforts in impacted areas that will involve payments to farmers who lost crops due to the flooding.
Lai said the central government will continue the development of hydraulic engineering works nationwide to improve water management and better prevent flooding if faced with similar weather conditions in the future.
He also apologized to flooding victims and asked politicians across party lines to stop partisan bickering and come together to assist with disaster relief work.
"I shoulder all the responsibility, any blame should be directed at me," he said when inspecting Chiayi County, one of the hard-hit areas.
Lai urged the public to remain vigilant as torrential rainfall is forecast across the island over the next four days.
According to the Central Emergency Operation Center, the weather has so far resulted in six fatalities, 90 injuries and the evacuation of nearly 6,000 local residents.