Tue, Aug 07, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Tropical storm to bring more heavy rains

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued a sea alert for Tropical Storm Haikui as it approaches the north coast.

The storm formed shortly after the the nation was rocked by Typhoon Saola, which poured nearly 2,000mm of rain on Taipingshan (太平山) in Yilan County over the weekend.

As of 5:30pm, the center of Haikui was located 440km northeast of Taipei. The radius of the storm was 150km. It was moving west at a speed of 11kph.

Based on bureau forecasts, the storm is not likely to make landfall in Taiwan.

Bureau forecaster Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良) said Haikui could strengthen into a typhoon. Wind speeds near the storm reached 48.2 kilometers per second (kps) yesterday. The bureau categorizes a storm as a typhoon when its wind speed reaches 53.1kps.

Chen said the bureau had detected wave swells between 2m and 3m in height at the nation’s northern and northeastern coasts.

Maximum wind speeds in Keelung and Taipei reached level eight and level six on the Beauford scale respectively.

Chances are high of heavy rain to extremely heavy rain in northern and northeastern regions of Taiwan because of the storm’s circumfluence. Residents in those areas must also brace for strong wind, the bureau said.

Large waves could lash the coasts in northern, northeastern, eastern and southeastern regions as well as on Green Island (綠島), Lanyu (蘭嶼) and Matsu (馬祖).

Chen said Haikui’s circumfluence could also bring heavy rain to central and southern Taiwan this afternoon as the storm gets closer. Residents of mountainous areas must be on alert for mudslides as rains brought by Typhoon Saola have already loosened the soil.

Chen said chances of rain in Hualien and Taitung were low, as those areas are on the leeward side of the wind. Nevertheless, he said foehn winds could occur along the east coast, adding that several factors must be fulfilled before it would happen.

The foehn winds that occurred during Typhoon Saola caused severe damage to fruit crops in Taitung County.

Chen said rain in northern and northeastern regions would ease as the storm moves away.

Meanwhile, southwesterly winds brought by Haikui could cause heavy rainfall in central and southern parts of the country from Thursday, Chen said.

Haikui is the 11th storm of the Pacific typhoon season this year.

Additional reporting by CNA

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