Tue, Aug 08, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Tropical storms may hit Taiwan with double whammy

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

A cyclist races along a road in Taipei County yesterday beneath a cloudy sky. The Central Weather Bureau issued a sea alert for Tropical Storm Bopha yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Three tropical storm systems have been lurking in the western Pacific in recent days, with two of them poised to affect Taiwan later this week, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) reported yesterday.

Tropical Storm Bopha was located about 700km east of Taitung, moving in a westerly direction toward Taiwan at about 14kph, the meteorologists said.

The CWB yesterday issued a sea alert for Bopha.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Saomai, the eighth typhoon reported in the Pacific area this year, was located about 760km northwest of Guam, moving northwesterly toward Taiwan at a speed of 24kph as of 10:30am yesterday, CWB meteorologists said.

The CWB is monitoring the two systems to see if they will interact with each other as they come closer, forecasters said.

They said that if such a phenomenon were to occur, the impact brought about by Bopha on the country would be reduced, although the intensity of the storm would remain the same.

The bureau said that Typhoon Maria was heading toward Japan and was not expected to affect Taiwan. The forecasters urged those working on seas near Okinawa or off Taiwan's east coast to be on alert for changes in weather conditions.

The bureau said it would have a better indication on Thursday or Friday as to whether Bopha and Saomai would effect Taiwan.

It is possible that the two storm systems may combine and double their force to produce what is known as the Fujiwara Effect, the meteorologists said.

Typhoon Maria, the seventh typhoon in the Pacific area this year, is not expected to affect Taiwan, as it was located 640km south-southeast of Osaka and sweeping toward the city at a speed of 20kph as of 10:30am yesterday, they said.

The weather bureau added that Taiwan was expected to experience mostly cloudy and rainy weather through next Saturday.

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