Cooler weather to return
The abundant sunshine the north has seen over the past week will give way to rain beginning later today under influence of a weather front, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The weather fluctuations are also likely to affect mountainous areas in central and southern parts, bringing sporadic showers, forecasters said. Today, temperatures are expected to range between 22oC and 31oC in the north, 23oC and 31oC in central Taiwan, and 24oC to 30oC in the south. The rainy weather could drop daytime high temperatures by about 4oC in the north from tomorrow, the bureau said.
Dapeng to hold water events
The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area Administration in Pingtung County said yesterday that it will host a series of water events starting on Saturday next week, including free canoe activities. Administration officials said the events, part of the effort to promote an international sailing regatta at Dapeng Bay (大鵬灣) on May 3 and 4, are aimed at attracting tourists to visit the bay and participate in watersports as summer approaches. To entice tourists, there will be free rides on canoes and regattas on April 26 and 27, and May 3, 4, 10 and 11. So far, more than 400 people have registered for the canoe rides and regatta, officials said, adding that although registration has ended, there will be openings available for people who turn up on the day. As for the race itself, about 300 competitors in 182 teams will set sail in the waters off Pingtung County, and will sail from Dapeng Bay to Liuqiu Township (琉球), covering a distance of about 20km, the officials said.
Former warden arrested
Police in Yunlin County arrested a former village warden in Cihtong Township (莿桐) and his four aides earlier this week in a crackdown on a human trafficking operation that they said brought Chinese women to Taiwan to work as prostitutes under the pretense of marriage. The operation allegedly paired unmarried Taiwanese men from Yunlin, Changhua, Nantou and Chiayi counties as well as Greater Taichung with the women in fake marriages. The women were then allegedly forced to work in hostess clubs and as prostitutes, police said, adding that the men agreed to take part in the scam because they owed money to the ring. Police also accused the women of being complicit in the operation, saying the women brought family members to Taiwan once they obtained local citizenship and allegedly took advantage of education and welfare programs.
Temblors rattle Yilan
Yilan County was rattled yesterday by two earthquakes of magnitude 3.5 and 3.7 on the Richter scale, the Central Weather Bureau said. The first earthquake occurred at 6:46pm and the second at 7:02pm, with their epicenters being very close to each other in Datong Township (大同), the bureau said. The strongest temblor was felt at an intensity of 4 in Nanshan Township (南山), according to the bureau.Lying near the junction of two tectonic plates, the nation is regularly shaken by earthquakes. An 8km deep, magnitude 7.6 earthquake centered in Nantou County killed about 2,400 people on Sept. 21, 1999, with damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$9.9 billion).