Mon, Jun 22, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Tropical storm disrupts travel

MINOR DAMAGEMonks and motorcyclists suffered minor injuries in Penghu and Tainan, while about 500 houses in Penghu were without electricity

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A ship off the coast of Kaohsiung tries to enter Kaohsiung harbor during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Linfa yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

Heavy rain and strong winds brought by Tropical Storm Linfa caused damage and injuries in Taiwan yesterday, disrupting about 200 flights nationwide.

In Penghu, three Taoist monks were injured after being hit by falling canvas frames while chanting at a funeral.

About 500 households in Penghu’s Wangan Township (望安) suffered power shortages. Two motorcyclists in Tainan City were slightly injured after being hit by a falling coconut tree.

Strong winds were also reported in Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties, blowing down billboards and trees.

Continuous rainfall in Taoyuan caused landslides on some sections of Highway No. 7. Fallen rocks and mud were removed by 6pm.

There were no reports of deaths.

Sea transport services to Makung (馬公), Hsiaoliouchiu (小琉球), Matsu, Green Island (綠島), as well as the small three links in Kinmen and Mastu, were canceled.

People heading to outlying islands were advised to check with their airlines or sea transporters to see if services were available.

At 9:20pm, the center of the storm was located 10km south of Kinmen, with the storm’s radius topping 120km.

The storm was proceeding northeast at a speed of 24kph.

The Central Weather Bureau warned people in central, southern and southeastern Taiwan to beware of heavy or torrential rains brought by the southwest air stream that generally comes on the heels of a tropical storm or typhoon.

At press time, the bureau had lifted its land warning for Penghu, but maintained its sea warning for ships passing through the Taiwan Strait and waters off the northern parts of the country.

Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良), a section chief at the bureau, said some areas in southeastern Taiwan had already received more than 20mm of rain per hour.

“We saw from the satellite chart that some clouds have started moving north, meaning there might be regional showers or thundershowers,” Chen said. “The weather conditions nationwide in the next two days will not be stable.”

“If the storm keeps moving on the forecast track, it may lose strength,” he said. “However, we must not lower our guard as the storm could still bring strong winds and heavy rains and cause flash floods. Residents living in low-­lying areas must remain vigilant,” Chen said.

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