Sun, Sep 05, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Typhoon Songda slowing, CWB says

UNCERTAINTY The typhoon has slowed to 14kph as it approaches, and weather officials hope it will change course and reduce its impact on the nation


Two workers rest on top of a pipeline yesterday while work on the temporary pumping station at the Shihmen Reservoir continues. The reservoir provides water to Taoyuan County, where the water supply has been interrupted following the onslaught of Typhoon Aere last week.


Typhoon Songda is slowing down as it approaches Taiwan, raising hopes that it could change its course, bypass the country and have less of an impact than originally feared, weather forecasters said yesterday.

The Central Weather Bureau said it was still evaluating the storm's possible bearings before deciding whether to issue a warning for ships in Taiwanese waters.

The speed of the storm's advance had slowed from 19kph early yesterday to 14kph, while maintaining sustained winds of 175 kph, the weather bureau said.

Songda was located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,200km east of Taiwan, and was still moving west toward the island, forecasters said.

However, a weakening patch of high pressure over the Pacific could cause the typhoon to veer to a more northerly path, reducing its impact on the island, the weather bureau said.

The forecasters said rain was likely in most parts of the island over the coming days, and the government urged hikers to stay away from mountainous areas over the weekend. Songda is named after a branch of Vietnam's Red River.

Taiwan is still searching for victims lost in flooding and mudslides triggered by Typhoon Aere last week in the north. The storm killed more than 30 people and left several missing.

IN related news, Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday brushed off Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh's (何美玥) offer to resign over failure to resume water supply in Taoyuan County, saying a political appointee should not be held responsible for a technical problem. Water supply in Taoyuan County has been down since last week after torrential rains brought about by Typhoon Aere made the water at Shihmen Reservoir too muddy for the water plants to process. Early this week, Yu ordered a pumping project to be completed in five days to solve the problem and said that he would investigate who was responsible if the project was not completed on time. As the project was still not completed by the deadline of Friday midnight, Ho offered her resignation orally to Yu to take responsibility for the delay.

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