Northern Taiwan hit by massive floods
Torrential rains have triggered massive flooding in northern Taiwan, claiming at least one life and marooning hundreds of people in their homes.
He added that there was no immediate report of other casualties or injuries.
In the low-lying town of Shichih, north of Taipei, water reached the first floor of many homes and forcing residents to retreat to higher ground.
Rescue workers braved downpours to evacuate people in inflatable boats to safety, but police said some 1,000 people were feared trapped in Shichih.
Authorities said heavy rain could cause further flooding from the swollen Keelung River north of Taipei.
In Taipei, people rushed to pile up sandbags around the entrances of underground rail stations and pedestrian passages.
Floods have caused disruption of business and traffic in some parts of Taipei dumping 763 millimetres (30.5 inches) of rain in the worst-hit Nankang area in 33 hours.
Minor mudslides occurred in mountain areas in Taipei and the northern Keelung city, with no damage reported.
The local weather bureau said torrential rains were likely to continue in northern, northeastern and central Taiwan and warned of mudslides in mountain regions over the weekend.
A moderate earthquake shook eastern Taiwan on Saturday, the local Weather Bureau said, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.
The 4.4-magnitude quake was centered on the island's east coast, about 14 kilometers (8.75 miles) east of Hsilin, the weather bureau said.
Hsilin, in the sparsely populated Hualien region, lies about 140 kilometers (87.5 miles) southeast of Taipei.
Quakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan in September 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.