Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Freak tornado wreaks havoc in Tainan County

DEVASTATION Unusually strong wind and rain left a 10km path of destruction through several townships early yesterday, although no injuries were reported

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A resident of Tainan City yesterday walks through the destruction in the wake of a tornado that touched down in the area yesterday.

PHOTO: TSAI WEN-CHU, TAIPEI TIMES

A tornado hit Tainan County early yesterday morning, with the force of the wind estimated at up to 120kph, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) confirmed yesterday.

Unusually strong winds and precipitation accompanying the twister were reported in Sinshih (新市), Shanhua (善化) and Sinying (新營) townships in Tainan County at around 2am yesterday.

The tornado lasted about half an hour and gradually subsided when it reached the Central Mountain Range.

Its effects were devastating. Television footage showed that the tornado had torn away the rooftops of some houses, while others had collapsed in the disaster. No injuries were reported as of press time, however.

Daniel Wu (吳德榮), director of the bureau's weather forecast center, said yesterday that the route of the tornado, which moved from southwest to northeast, was about 10km in length and stretched from Tainan County's coastal area to the interior of the country.

Wu said that extreme weather conditions are commonly seen in spring in Taiwan.

Whenever unstable systems are forecast approaching the country, they are usually followed by another weather system of almost equivalent force, he said.

The bureau called off a heavy rain alert at 8:30am yesterday, which was first issued on Monday.

Meanwhile, the bureau has forecast that the weather nationwide will turn dry and cold over the next two days, with the temperature potentially dropping to 15oC in the north and 17oC to 18oC in the center and in the south.

Another frontal system is expected to arrive in the country on Sunday.

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