Tue, Nov 27, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Mitag causes minor road damage, disrupts flights

STORM WARNING The Central Weather Bureau issued torrential rain alerts for residents of Keelung, Taipei and Taoyuan and those living from Ilan County to the Hengchun Peninsula

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man reinforces his roof at a coastal shantytown in Manila yesterday.


Heavy rain brought by Tropical Storm Mitag (米塔) caused minor damage to the nation yesterday.

Landslides disrupted traffic on the Suhua Highway (Provincial Highway No. 9). By 6pm, only one lane was open to two-way traffic.

The highway has now been closed to traffic nine times this year because of landslides caused by typhoons.

Landslides were also reported on provincial highways No. 7 in Ilan County and No. 8 in Hualien County yesterday afternoon.

Road maintenance officials had managed to resume normal operations of highway No. 8 (Toroko Gorge) by early yesterday evening.

Three airports on the nation's surrounding islands -- Chimei (七美) in Penghu County, Lanyu (蘭嶼) and Green Island (綠島) -- were closed because of the inclement weather brought by Mitag.

The airport in Taitung was also closed yesterday morning, but reopened at 1:30pm. Hengchun (恆春) Airport was closed during the same period.

By 6pm, 43 domestic flights had been either delayed or canceled.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that Mitag has been downgraded from a typhoon to a severe tropical storm, but the bureau continued to caution residents in the east and south of the nation against heavy rainfall and strong winds.

As of 5:30pm, the center of Mitag was located approximately 280km south of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). The radius of the storm had reduced from 200km to 180km and it was moving north-northeast at 12kph. Maximum wind speeds near the center were measured at 101kph, with gusts of up to 126kph.

Accumulated rain topped 623mm in Nioudou (牛鬥), Ilan County, 316mm in Wanjung (萬榮), Hualien County, and 261mm in Danong (大農), Hualien County.

The bureau said yesterday that heavy rain would continue today and is expected to ease by tomorrow, adding that the temperature tomorrow could potentially drop to a low of 14oC owing to a mass of cold air following the storm.

For today, the bureau issued further torrential rain alerts for residents in Keelung, Taipei and Taoyuan and those living between Ilan and the Hengchun Peninsula. Residents of the mountainous areas of Hualien and Taitung counties were told to be prepared for torrential rain.

Because of the interaction between seasonal winds from the northeast and the circumfluence of Mitag, winds in coastal areas and the Hengchun Peninsula could reach up to 117kph, the bureau warned.

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