Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Sea, land warnings issued as new storm nears

UNSTABLE SYSTEM The weather bureau said Tropical Storm Wutip posed a threat to residents in Nantou County, as well as Ilan, Hualien, Taitung, Green Island and Lanyu


The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued sea and land warnings for Tropical Storm Wutip (梧提) yesterday morning after canceling the land warning for Tropical Storm Pabuk.

At 9:15pm yesterday, Wutip was 260km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). The storm was moving northwest at a speed of 21kph, with a radius of up to 100km. The maximum wind speed near the storm's center was 65kph, with gusts of up to 90kph.

The storm is expected to pose an immediate threat to residents along the east coast and in Nantou County.

The bureau also cautioned residents in Ilan, Hualien, Taitung, Green Island and Lanyu to be prepared for strong winds and torrential rain.

Vessels operating along the northern end of the Taiwan Strait and the Bashi Channel, as well as those operating along the north and east coasts, should be prepared for the approaching storm, the bureau said.

Daniel Wu (吳德榮), director of the bureau's Weather Forecast Center, said the storm's structure was quite loose and that it was essentially an unstable system.

Wu dismissed the possibility of the Fujiwhara effect occurring.

The effect refers to a type of interaction between two storms that causes them to appear to orbit each other.

He said Wutip was surrounded by high air pressure systems from the Pacific and other areas of low air pressure.

Their forces were greater than those of Pabuk, which would prevent the Fujiwhara effect from happening, Wu said.

He said Wutip would bring about the same amount of rain as Pabuk, but added that people should be aware of the rain the southwestern air current could bring, which generally occurs after the storm moves away from land.

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday asked government officials at all levels to keep an eye on the storm.

Chang ordered the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission to supervise local authorities' disaster prevention and response measures, including keeping an eye on river level changes, water gate and pumping station safety checks, maintaining normal drinking water supplies and watching out for landslides and floods.

He expressed gratitude to government staff who had prepared for Pabuk and minimized the risks of damage.

With the approach of Wutip, the Taiwan Railway Administration announced last night that it had canceled today's No. 63 Chukuang express from Hualien to Taitung.

Two Uni Air flights departing from Taipei to Taitung this morning were also canceled.

Although the rain brought by Pabuk flooded downtown areas in Hualien and the Howard Plaza Hotel in Kenting (墾丁), no serious damage was reported.

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