Storms likely until Thursday
The nation could see more unstable weather next week because of an approaching front and moisture from the west, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Rains and thunderstorms are likely in most parts of the country until about Thursday, when skies should begin to clear, forecasters said. Temperatures across the nation are expected to remain at their current level until Wednesday, when a passing weather front will bring down daily highs by between 3oC and 5oC, the bureau said. According to forecasters, temperatures will hover between 21oC and 29oC in northern Taiwan and between 22oC and 30oC in southern Taiwan until Wednesday.
More tilting train cars arrive
The second batch of tilting train cars arrived at Keelung Port on Friday and are scheduled to be put into service in the summer. The tilting train, also known as the Puyuma Express (普悠瑪), was purchased by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) mainly for the east coast railway service. The first batch of 16 train cars had arrived last year, with eight of them commencing service during the Lunar New Year holiday this year. The TRA said the remaining eight train cars in the first batch are scheduled to start operations on Wednesday, adding that passengers can begin booking tickets for the train tomorrow. The second batch also consists of 16 train cars. The TRA has ordered a total of 136 new tilting train cars, for 17 train sets. The remaining 120 train cars are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year.
Aid to Sichuan delivered
The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China delivered large quantities of blankets, tents and other supplies yesterday to Taiwan’s main international gateway, from where they will be shipped in two batches over the next three days to China’s earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province. The supplies — 5,000 blankets and 500 tents able to accommodate up to six people each — were collected based on reports from the Red Cross Society in Sichuan that tents and blankets were the top priorities because adequate supplies of other materials, such as instant noodles and bottled water, had been secured, the group said. The supplies will be sent to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province today and on Tuesday. As of Friday, the Red Cross Society had also received NT$9.92 million (US$335,418) in donations for earthquake victims in the province despite not openly soliciting them, the organization reported.
Fighter jet goes to museum
A US-made fighter jet that was part of Taiwan’s air force fleet in the 1960s arrived at a military museum in Nampa, Idaho, on Friday to be added to the museum’s collection. The F-104A Starfighter, which was built in 1958, has become the latest addition to the Warhawk Air Museum. The aircraft was sent by the US to Taiwan in 1960 as part of a US military assistance program and was shipped to Jordan in 1969 after Taiwan obtained more advanced F-104 fighters, according to KTVB.com, an NBC-affiliated television station in Idaho. It was decommissioned in 1977 and returned to the US by a private company, and had been bought and sold several times since then, before the museum bought it this month. The plane was to go on display as soon as Warhawk Museum staff repainted it with its original United States Air Force markings, the report said.