New low recorded in Tamsui
New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui District (淡水) yesterday recorded the year’s lowest temperature in a low-lying area as a cold snap hit the nation, the Central Weather Bureau said. The temperature in Tamsui broke this year’s previous low of 8.2oC, set in January, before setting a new low of 7.7oC at 5:45pm, the bureau’s data showed. An independent weather station at National Central University in Taoyuan County recorded an even lower temperature of 6.8oC at 2pm, according to the university’s online weather data. Temperatures in most northern and northeastern areas fell to between 10oC and 12oC, while Taipei, Keelung and Tamsui saw the mercury fall below 10oC, the bureau said.
Strong gusts damage venue
Strong gusts in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday leveled part of a venue that was to be used for a new year’s countdown concert today, as well as knocking down tents that were to be used as ticketing booths for the event. The Greater Kaohsiung meteorological station pegged the strongest gust at 27kph before noon. A three-story tall structure, which had been erected to hold up a large screen at the concert outside the Dream Mall, also collapsed. Several tents behind the main stage, as well as those being used as temporary ticketing booths for the Greater Kaohsiung MRT system, also gave way. In addition, a large billboard outside the venue was blown away. The organizers have deployed teams to try and fix the damage in time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Travel exhibition to open
A travel fair aimed at people who plan to travel during the Lunar New Year holiday will open on Friday, with more than 130 exhibitors scheduled to participate, organizers said. Travel agencies, hotel operators and restaurants are to attend the show, called the 2013 International Winter Travel Fair, to offer deals for trips during the Feb. 9 to Feb. 17 Lunar New Year period, the organizer said, adding that the industry is eying a surge in sales as this year’s Lunar New Year break is longer than usual. Now in its third year, the event’s organizer said the exhibition is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors, slightly more than at this year’s show. The fair will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1. Admission is NT$100.
Scanners attached to shrimp
The Agriculture Multi-Discipline Association of Taiwan said it has attached radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanners to Tainan-grown white shrimp, as part of efforts to improve food traceability and safety. The wireless non-contact RFID system is being used on high-value aquatic products in a pilot project by the association, which is composed of students from National Chengchi University’s Department of Agronomy. The Council of Agriculture gave the association NT$2.2 million (US$75,600) to build the scanners, which provide video data on the production, logistics and safety management of the product. Expensive white shrimp were chosen for the project because the technology that the RFID require is costly, Fisheries Agency Director-General James Sha (沙志一) said. The program will be extended to a wide range of products in the future to help boost exports, he added.