Mon, Dec 22, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Chiayi bears brunt of cold weather

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The temperature in Chiayi hit 7.7?C yesterday as the most powerful cold front since last winter passed through the country.

Temperatures nationwide are expected to recover slightly beginning today, but will drop dramatically on Christmas, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

Forecasters at the bureau said the cold front had been weakening since Saturday but that the chilly weather would return on Thursday, Christmas Day.

According to forecaster Wu Wan-hua (伍婉華), residents in the north are recommended to take precautions.

"In the coming days, temperatures lower than 10?C may be seen in remote areas in the morning," Wu said.

Wu said temperatures today, the winter solstice, could bounce back to 20?C in the north and 26?C in the south.

Wu said the next cold front would arrive on Thursday. Wu reminded people to take precautions before doing outdoor activities as the temperature on Christmas Eve is expected to be only 13?C in the north, 14?C in central Taiwan and 15?C in the south.

Yesterday's 7.7?C, measured at 7:10am in Chiayi, was the lowest temperature recorded on level ground since last winter.

The cold weather has caused die-offs of milkfish and clams in coastal areas of Chiayi and Yunlin.

Temperatures in parts of Yunlin, Putai and Chiayi fell 13?C overnight.

"It breaks our hearts to see floating milkfish on the verge of dying," said Yen Chin-chung (顏金鐘), borough chief of Haumei, Putai Township.

Officials of the Fisheries Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture (COA) urged owners of fish farms yesterday to take preventive measures to ensure the survival of aquatic creatures.

"Effective measures include pumping groundwater to keep water temperatures in farms from dropping significantly and establishing windbreaks at the north of farms," said Ting Yun-yuan (丁雲源), director of the institute's Mariculture Research Center.

Farmers yesterday were busy scooping up milkfish, selling them immediately at low prices. According to farmers, the regular price for 600g of milkfish ranges between NT$35 and NT$40, but fish were being sold for only NT$20 to NT$30 for 600g.

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