Tue, Aug 14, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan may issue alert as Kai-Tak strengthens, nears

SKY’S THE LIMIT:The cost of vegetables and fruit has reached the second-highest level on record after heavy rains brought by Typhoon Saola ravaged agriculture

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said it could issue a sea alert for Tropical Storm Kai-Tak today, the season’s 13th tropical storm, as it threatens sea areas near southern Taiwan.

Kai-Tak strengthened to a tropical storm at 8am yesterday. As of 5pm, the center of the storm was located 710km northeast of Manila. It was moving northwesterly at a speed of 13kph. The radius of the storm has reached 100km, packing sustained winds of 64.8kph, with gusts of up to 90kph, the bureau said.

Bureau forecaster Lin Pin-yu (林秉煜) said Kai-Tak’s circumfluence would reach Taiwan tomorrow if the system’s path and speed did not change, increasing the chance of heavy rain in southern, northern and eastern regions.

The bureau said the radius of the storm would sweep through the Bashi Channel and the Hengchun Peninsula before moving toward Fujian Province, China. The storm is expected to come very close to the Hengchun Peninsula on Thursday and could make landfall there, the bureau said.

The bureau said it could issue a sea alert today, which would apply to eastern and southern parts of the country.

Lin said Kai-Tak was not likely to turn into a typhoon by the time it reaches Taiwan, adding that the storm would gradually move away from Taiwan on Friday.

Today, chances for afternoon thundershowers are high in northern, central, southern and northeastern regions. Cloudy to sunny skies are forecast for other regions as well as on the islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

In related news, the average price of vegetables has soared to NT$41.82 per kilogram this month as fruit and vegetable supplies were drastically reduced because of the torrential rain brought by Typhoon Saola as well as heavy rainfall earlier this year.

The Taipei City Market Administration Office reported that the average volume of fruit and vegetables was 653 tonnes earlier this month, the second-lowest in the past decade.

The lowest volume on record, 639 tonnes, was set on Oct. 7, 2007, when the nation was hit by Typhoon Krosa.

The office said it would take action to prevent vegetable prices from rising further.

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