Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Typhoon failed to relieve the drought in northern counties

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although Typhoon Vamco's unimpressive rainfall failed to wash away drought fears in northern Taiwan, another tropical depression could bring relief this weekend, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

Typhoon Vamco skimmed over the north of the country early yesterday morning. By yesterday morning, the highest recorded rainfall was 69mm in Chuangwei Township, Ilan County. On Tuesday, the bureau predicted that the typhoon would bring up to 300mm to mountainous areas in the north, which feed streams that in turn fill reservoirs.

Land and sea warnings were lifted yesterday morning as Typhoon Vamco moved into China.

According to Daniel Wu (吳德榮), deputy director of the bureau's weather forecasting center, the typhoon was traveling at 28kph and left Taiwan sooner than expected.

"However, the passage of Typhoon Vamco brought in air currents that may result in heavy rains in the south and the southeast," Wu said yesterday.

Wu said a low pressure system, which was 1,000km east of Taiwan yesterday morning, was approaching the island at 18kph.

Wu said that if the low pressure system moves as predicted, a sea warning could be issued this morning and it would begin influencing the nation's weather over the weekend.

Water Resources Agency Director Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) said yesterday that Typhoon Vamco brought little rain to the north's two major reservoirs.

Agency statistics show that the rainfall at the Shihmen Dam, Taoyuan County, on Tuesday and yesterday was only 4.6mm. At the Feitsui Reservoir, Taipei County, rainfall was 33mm.

"Obviously, Typhoon Vamco disappointed us because its limited rainfall could do nothing to relieve the drought," Chen said.

Chen yesterday stressed the importance of water conservation in the north of the country, saying that stricter water conservation measures could be imposed after Sept. 10 in metropolitan Taipei and Keelung City.

To come up with long-term strategies to manage limited water resources, the agency yesterday began a two-day conference to review existing policies. Conclusions will be brought to the 2003 National Conference on Water Resources to be held on Sept. 1 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs for further discussion.

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