TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As panic over the novel coronavirus grips Taiwan, the number of people going out to hike in the great outdoors has surged, including some who have ignored warning signs and ventured into dangerous areas, such as those found on Huoyanshan (火炎山), to take photos.
A Miaoli County resident surnamed Tsai (蔡) said that when they walk along the road at the foot of Huoyanshan (literally Mountain of Flames), they often see hikers standing on the edges of cliffs, which is “really dangerous," as these could collapse at any time, CNA reported on Thursday (March 5). Tsai added that recently, a greater number of people have been hiking the trail, possibly opting for outdoor activities instead of staying in confined spaces.
Huoyanshan is located on the border between Sanyi and Yuanli townships in Miaoli County. The Huoyanshan trail, which meanders through valleys, was ranked number No. 1 in an online poll titled the Top 100 must-visit trails in Taiwan.
The mountain is composed of thick layers of gravel, and the deep valleys and cols were formed by rain erosion over the years, the report said, adding that the attraction is like a real-life version of the “Mountain of Flames” in the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West.”
Cheng Ya-wen (鄭雅文), an official at the Hsinchu Forest District Office, said the elevation of Huoyanshan is about 600 meters and that due to its loose, gravelly composition, it is especially prone to landslides after rains.