Mon, May 20, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Weather bureau warns of torrential downpours

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s central and southern regions must prepare for what could be the heaviest rainfall of the Plum Rain Season, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

According to the bureau, the nation will be affected by a stationary front from southern China until Thursday.

Due to the front’s solid structure, it will bring a substantial amount of rain, particularly to the west coast, the bureau said.

The forecast indicated that chances of heavy to torrential rain are high both today and tomorrow.

Residents in mountainous areas in Chiayi County, Greater Taichung, Nantou County and Greater Kaohsiung must be particularly wary of potential damage that could be caused by the torrential rain.

Between 12am and 4:50pm yesterday, accumulated rainfall in Taoyuan District (桃源) in Greater Kaohsiung topped 212mm, which met the bureau’s standard for torrential rain.

The accumulated rainfall in Alishan Township (阿里山) in Chiaiyi County reached 197.5mm.

The bureau said that the rains would lower temperatures to between 22oC and 24oC, adding that the mercury would climb to 28oC to 30oC in between spells of rain.

The torrential rainfall is likely to make matters worse for farmers in central and southern regions, who are still busy salvaging rice and vegetable crops after last weekend’s downpours. Hundreds of hectares of rice paddies were immersed by rainwater last week, the Council of Agriculture’s and Food Agency said.

The council issued a “yellow” alert for mudflows in 106 rivers and streams in Greater Taichung, Nantou County, Greater Kaohsiung and Chiayi County.

As of 5pm yesterday, the Directorate General of Highways closed eight sections of highway across the nation because the rain had made road conditions potentially hazardous or landslides had disrupted traffic. Affected highways included County Highway 169 and Provincial Highways No. 8, 20, 21.

Drivers are advised to avoid highways in mountainous areas and listen to radio traffic updates.

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