Extreme torrential rain brought by a southwesterly jet stream yesterday wreaked havoc in central and southern Taiwan, causing flash floods and triggering mudflows and landslides in mountainous areas.
By 5pm yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau’s observation station in Yuyoushan (御油山) in Kaohsiung’s Liouguei District (六龜) had registered accumulated rainfall of 726.5mm since 12am on Saturday, the highest among the bureau’s observation stations.
It was followed by the observation station in Kaohsiung’s Maolin District (茂林), which recorded accumulated rainfall of 671.5mm over the period.
Photo courtesy of the army via CNA
Six of the 10 observation stations that recorded the highest accumulated rainfall yesterday were in Liouguei, bureau data showed.
The Kaohsiung City Government had on Saturday night made an emergency announcement canceling work and classes yesterday in anticipation of torrential rain.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mei (陳其邁) yesterday visited Yongan District (永安) and two other locations hit by flash floods triggered by the rain.
Photo: Su Fu-nan, Taipei Times
He said the city has secured a budget of NT$350 million (US$12.52 million) to improve a local drainage system, adding that flooding in Yongan would be addressed once construction is completed by the end of next year.
Flash floods were also reported in Tainan, as well as Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung counties.
Bureau forecaster Liu Yu-chi (劉宇其) said the rain brought by the southwesterly jet stream fell mostly in areas south of Taichung.
Photo courtesy of Tainan City Police Department’s Baihe Precinct
In addition to continuous rainfall, residents in these areas also experienced short bursts of intense rainfall, Liu said, adding that 90mm of rain fell within one hour in mountainous areas in Tainan and Pingtung County.
Although the rains in central and southern Taiwan would gradually ease, as the southwest jet stream turned south last night, chances of heavy or extremely heavy rain remain high this morning, Liu said.
Southwesterly winds would remain strong and continue to affect the nation this week, he said, adding that people should beware of disasters caused by heavy or extremely heavy rain.
Winds in the coastal areas could reach level 8 or 9 on the Beaufort scale, Liu added.
From today to Saturday, showers or thundershowers have been forecast for central and southern Taiwan due to the influence of southwesterly winds and a low-pressure system. Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall has been forecast in mountainous areas today and tomorrow.
From Sunday to Tuesday next week, the weather would be unstable due to the influence of a low-pressure system, with brief showers and thundershowers nationwide, the bureau said.
A southwest jet stream is a flow of warm and humid air from the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea brought by the southwest monsoon.
It arrives in the nation after typhoons move away from Taiwan. The warm and humid air rises after encountering the Central Mountain Range and dumps rain in central and southern Taiwan.
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