Mon, Aug 13, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Lightning strikes Songshan airport

WEATHER DELAY:The bolt made a hole in the airport’s only runway, causing 3,500 passengers to groan as their flights were delayed while the damage was inspected

AFP and CNA, with staff writer

Workers at Taipei International Airport (Songshan) shine headlights on a hole caused by a lightning strike on the runway on Saturday.

Photo: Lin Chia Chi, Taipei Times

Taipei International Airport (Songshan) was briefly closed on Saturday after its sole runway was hit by lightning, delaying 25 flights, an official said.

The strike, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, left a hole about 0.7m long and 0.5m wide in the runway.

Authorities closed the transport hub for just under two hours after being alerted to the damage by an airport worker.

“Twenty-five flights to and from the airport, 20 of them on domestic routes, were delayed before the damage was fixed at 8:10pm,” a Civil Aeronautics Administration official said.

About 3,500 passengers were affected, he said.

Meanwhile, parts of southern Taiwan were bracing for heavy or torrential rains yesterday as a southwesterly wind continues to blow across the nation, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The central and southern regions could expect rain throughout the day, while the northern and eastern regions could see thundershowers in the afternoon, the bureau said. It added that the rain could last throughout the week.

The bureau cautioned people in these areas to be aware of sudden downpours, lightning, strong winds, rising rivers and flooding in low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, the bureau said a developing low-pressure system near the Philippines could bring rain to the nation from Wednesday through Saturday, but it remains to be seen if the system would develop into a tropical storm.

Daily temperatures are expected to remain high nationwide, reaching about 34°C in the northern parts of the country.

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