Torrential rain on its way
The Central Weather Bureau yesterday warned residents in the northern and eastern parts of the country to expect torrential rain over the next few days as seasonal winds strengthen. Accumulated rainfall in Yilan County could reach 350mm over the next 24 hours, which could cause mudslides and rock falls in mountainous areas, the bureau said. Temperatures in the north and east are also forecast to drop to lows of about 19oC, with highs hovering around 22oC, forecasters said. The weather fluctuations could ease up on Thursday, but another seasonal wind front is expected on Friday, the bureau said.
Quake jolts east
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake jolted eastern Taiwan at 12:55pm yesterday, the weather bureau said. Its epicenter was located at sea about 148.4km east of Yilan County Hall at a depth of 103km, bureau officials said. The strongest tremor, with an intensity of 2, was felt in Nanao Township (南澳) in Yilan and the scenic area of Taroko National Park in Hualien County, the bureau said.
Female first for island
Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) will get its first female officer this week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday. Second Lieutenant Chiang Tzu-ting (江子婷), 23, will depart for the remote South China Sea island on Saturday for an unspecified tour of duty, the CGA said. Chiang is a new graduate of the Republic of China Military Academy and is being sent to Taiping after she and other graduates drew lots for postings. She recently completed the law enforcement training necessary for her to serve with the coast guard unit stationed on the island. Chiang will join three female enlisted soldiers who became the first female personnel ever sent to serve on the island when they were posted there in July. In addition to more than 100 coast guards and navy weather specialists, there are about 20 air force ground crew, but no civilians on the island, which covers an area of less than 0.5km2.
Hotels pass inspection
All but one of Taipei’s 68 registered hot spring hotels and bath houses passed a health inspection last month, with the lone violator given a deadline to comply with regulations, a health official said yesterday. The hot spring hotel that failed the inspection was also fined NT$3,000 because its staff had not completed the required regular health checks, said Chu Yu-ru, chief of disease control of the city’s Department of Health. Almost all of the city’s popular hot spring resorts are centered on or around the slopes of Yangmingshan. Sixty-eight of the venues are registered with the city government and therefore subject to health inspections, which are now particularly timely as temperatures fall and the hot spring business picks up. In a separate inspection carried out in late September, only one out of 745 water samples failed a quality test, Chu said, but the business from which the sample came has already shut down due to other factors. The health department works with the hot spring venues to ensure that businesses meet health and safety standards, she said. Each venue is required to have certified personnel responsible for sanitation, and to take measures necessary for the elimination of potential disease-carrying pests, such as mosquitoes. They must also be equipped with shower facilities and emergency buttons for customers.