The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued a land alert for Tropical Storm Kong-Rey as it threatened the east coast.
The bureau issued a sea alert for Kong-Rey on Tuesday, which applies to vessels operating in the Bashi Channel as well as near the nation’s southeast, northeast and north coasts.
The land alert applies to Taitung (including Green Island [綠島] and Lanyu [蘭嶼], also known as Orchid Island), Hualien, Yilan, New Taipei City, Taipei City, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Greater Taichung and Nantou.
The Taitung County Government canceled classes and work in Lanyu yesterday afternoon because of the storm.
As of 5:30pm, the center of the storm was 190km east of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving north at 16kph, with the radius of the storm remaining at 120km.
The bureau forecast that the center of the storm would move to approximately 120km northeast of Yilan by 5pm today.
Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良), chief of the bureau’s weather forecast center, said Kong-Rey had moved slightly west of the bureau’s projected path and has the potential to strengthen somewhat, with the possibility that the radius of the storm could expand, he said.
While people living on the east coast should be ready for strong winds and torrential rain, Chen said central and southern Taiwan may face extreme torrential rainfall.
Chen said hourly rainfall of 50mm had already occurred in the area between Chiayi and Greater Kaohsiung yesterday afternoon.
Television news footage showed that flooding occurred in parts of Chiayi City yesterday afternoon, with accumulated rainfall reaching 108mm between 2pm and 4pm.
Meanwhile, the bureau estimated that accumulated rainfall in mountainous areas in Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County could top 600mm.
Similar areas in Greater Taichung, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan could see accumulated rainfall reach 500mm.
“Extremely heavy rain,” as defined by the bureau, occurs when rainfall within a 24-hour period reaches 130mm.
Rainfall is categorized as “torrential” or “extreme torrential rain” if it exceeds 200mm and 350mm respectively.