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3 people rescued from river in Taiwan's Alishan area

Thunderstorm leads to surging waters trapping 3 people in Alishan’s Danayi Valley

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A rescue conducted in remote Alishan area. (CNA photo)

A rescue conducted in remote Alishan area. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A thunderstorm in mountainous areas of Chiayi County on Tuesday afternoon (July 11) trapped three people in Danayi Valley due to surging river waters, LTN reported.

The Chiayi County Fire Department received a distress call at 4:54 p.m. indicating that three people were trapped on the other side of the Shanmei Bridge in Alishan Township. Twelve firefighters were dispatched to the scene in six vehicles.

Upon arriving at the scene, the fire department identified three males between the ages of 49 and 51 who were stuck on the far side of the river with no ability to cross as darkness descended. 3 people rescued from river in Taiwan's Alishan area
Rope lines aid in the crossing of the river. (Chiayi County Fire Dept. photo)

Firefighters decided to deploy rope lines and have the stranded individuals wade back. A rope-launching gun was used to erect the rope line, with firefighters crossing to the other side and assisting each person back toward safety. The rescue was completed at 7:42 p.m.

Afterwards, the men recuperated in nearby Shanmei Village, while no one required medical attention.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, Lijia Village, Alishan Township, which is upstream of the Danayi Valley, experienced a downpour at about 2:00 p.m. In less than two hours, a total of 68.5 millimeters of rain fell, leading to a flash flood that trapped the three men.

The fire department is asking the public to be more conscientious of afternoon thunderstorms in mountainous areas and the chance of flash floods affecting local streams and rivers.