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Taiwan hit by triple blow of drought, blackouts and COVID surge

Maintaining production crucial to island's economy during global chip shortage

As of Thursday afternoon, the water reserve rate at the Nanhua Reservoir only stood at 10.6%, suggesting the water supply from this reservoir could last only 23 days if without any more rainfalls.  (Photo by Cheng Ting-Fang)

TAINAN, NEW TAIPEI/Taiwan -- The calm of a sunny May afternoon in Taiwan was broken by a crescendo of smartphones buzzing due to a national emergency alert.

Electricity blackouts were coming due to a malfunction at a power plant in the south of the island. People had no time to prepare. There were more than 30 reports of people being trapped in elevators half an hour after the warning in the capital city.

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