Sun, Jan 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Cold weather sparks warnings

LET IT SNOW:As the nation is embraced by 10-year-low temperatures, people have flocked to the highest mountains in the expectation of seeing snow

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Trees in the Lalashan Natural Protection Zone in Taoyuan stand covered in snow yesterday afternoon.

Photo: courtesy of the Taoyuan Department of Tourism

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued a special warning about low temperatures, heavy rain and strong winds as a cold front shrouded the nation in cold, moist air.

Temperatures of less than 10˚C have been recorded, the bureau said, adding that most areas also experienced strong winds yesterday.

The weather warnings were issued as the strongest cold snap to hit Taiwan in 10 years made its impact felt early yesterday.

At 5:30am a low of 11.7˚C was recorded in Taipei and 1.3˚C on Yushan (玉山).

The cold front is likely to last until Tuesday, the bureau said.

Snow is rarely seen in the nation except on the highest mountains of central and southern Taiwan. With the weather bureau warning of an strong cold front many people began to head for Hehuanshan (合歡山) and other mountains to wait for the expected snow.

Early yesterday, up to 350 vehicles passed through a checkpoint close to Hehuanshan, blocking one lane of the highway. The checkpoint was set up to prevent vehicles from going further up the mountain during the night for safety reasons.

The Health Promotion Administration yesterday released tips to prevent cardiovascular illness triggered by the cold weather. The administration said low temperatures can increase blood viscosity, induce vasoconstriction (where the walls of blood vessels narrow and constrict) and increase the risks of intravascular clotting, as well as the likeliness of triggering coronary heart disease.

People with the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids and high blood sugar — should remember to take prescribed medication, avoid overeating and severe emotional fluctuations, drink warm water and eat food high in natural fiber to help prevent constipation, it said.

People with the “three highs” are one-and-a-half times more likely to develop heart disease over a five-year period, administration official Chia Shu-li (賈淑麗) said, adding that it is important for the elderly and people with heart disease to keep themselves warm at all times.

She said they should avoid going outdoors for exercise early in the morning when the temperature is extremely low, prepare warm clothes besides their bed before going to sleep so that they can wear them as soon as possible when they get up the next morning.

People who use hot springs should avoid staying in the water for more than 15 minutes to prevent acute cardiovascular events, the administration said, adding that people should also remember to stand up slowly when getting out of hot springs and that people with chronic cardiovascular disease should be accompanied.

The administration said that people with diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol should keep the water temperature below 40˚C and avoid using hot springs within two hours of eating a large meal or drinking alcohol.

If a person feels sudden chest pain, chest tightness, difficulty breathing or speaking, or experiences numbness or paralysis in the face, legs or arms, he or she should see a doctor immediately, the administration said.

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