Thunderstorms disrupted air traffic and flooded roads at Taiwan’s main airport on Thursday, delaying more than 200 flights and causing severe traffic jams, according to Taiwanese media. Heavy rain, thunder and lightning battered the north of the island for more than two hours in the morning, resulting in power outages and serious flooding at Taoyuan International Airport about 40km west of Taipei, Central News Agency reported. The airport suspended operations for more than two hours before noon. By 1.30pm, 88 arriving flights and 131 departing flights had been delayed for more than half an hour. Flooding continued to block the airport’s main access roads in the afternoon. Photographs taken at the airport showed people wading through knee-deep water both outside and inside the terminals, and parked cars submerged. The Taoyuan International Airport Corporation attributed the flooding to a surge in a nearby river, CNA reported. The island’s transport authorities deployed about 10 large pumps at the airport to help lowerthe water levels. Lin Chuan, Taiwan’s new premier, ordered transport authorities to “conduct an in-depth and comprehensive” assessment to determine the cause of the flooding, and to improve the airport’s conditions as soon as possible, the report said. Lin also asked the authorities to hold the company in charge of the airport’s construction project and other relevant personnel accountable. Across the Taiwan Strait, many major rivers on the mainland reached their highest water levels since 1998, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing flood control and drought relief authorities Authorities in Hunan had strengthened dykes along waterways in the Yangtze River Basin ahead of the start of the province’s three-month flood season on Wednesday, the report said. The amount of water in Lake Tai, on the border between Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, has also neared alarming levels, with more rain forecast.