Wed, Aug 09, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Bureau issues warnings for Tropical Storm Bopha

DIFFERENCE IN VIEW While the bureau said the storm was heading toward Pingtung, the US Navy said it was going to make landfall between Taitung and Hualien

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday issued sea and land alerts for Tropical Storm Bopha which is threatening eastern and southern Taiwan.

At 10pm yesterday, the storm was 120km east-northeast of Taitung, and was decelerating in a west-southwesterly direction to 15kph, with the center of the storm heading toward the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) in Pingtung County.

However, the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center earlier predicted that the storm would head in a more westerly direction and make landfall between Taitung and Hualien.

The bureau issued warnings to vessels operating near the Taiwan Strait, the Bashi Channel and along the east coast.

It also cautioned residents of Hualien and Taitung counties in eastern Taiwan, as well as Pingtung and Kaohsiung counties, to be particularly careful and keep track of the latest movements of the storm.

Heavy rain was also expected in mountainous areas in the northern and northeastern regions of the island.

SECOND STORM

The bureau said yesterday evening that it might issue a sea alert for Typhoon Saomai, another storm in the Pacific Ocean, after midnight.

At 5pm, the center of Typhoon Saomai was 1,245km east of Hengchun (恆春). It was moving toward waters between Taiwan and Okinawa at 27kph.

Some of the ferries operating between Taiwan and surrounding islets will be canceled today owing to inclement weather.

However, air and land transportation will continue as usual, officials said.

Neither Taipei City nor Taipei County planned to call a day off today.

Meanwhile, a third system, Tropical Storm Maria, was heading toward Japan, but it was expected that the storm would have little effect on Taiwan.

As Saomai and Bopha are close to one another, the weather bureau cautioned that a Fujiwara effect might occur.

This refers to a type of interaction that causes two storm systems to "orbit" one other, in this case possibly weakening the effect of Bopha.

The phenomenon of three typhoons coexisting in the Pacific Ocean also occurred in 2002 and 2004.

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