Taipei, New Taipei defend decision to close schools, work
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday that conditions were met for their cities to announce all-day school and office closures due to inclement weather, in accordance with the Central Weather Bureau's (CWB) forecast.
August 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung were the only local governments in Taiwan that announced all-day school and office closures in response to Tropical Storm Trami, prompting doubts over their decision, given that the cities did not see strong winds or heavy rain by noon yesterday.
Hau and Chu stressed that conditions were met for all-day school and office closures, and that after consulting with Keelung, the decision was made for the sake of public safety.
The CWB said on Tuesday that precipitation would exceed 350 millimeters, while winds would surpass level 10 on the Beaufort scale, Hau said, adding that according to the forecast, the city government's decision was justified.
Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung officials held an emergency conference at approximately 9 p.m. on Tuesday, reaching a consensus to announce all-day school and office closures, Chu said.
The three city governments drew the public's ire last month when Typhoon Soulik struck the island for announcing school and office closures too late, leading the media to pay greater attention to the cities' actions this time around.
The CWB indicated that starting from 10 a.m. Wednesday, mountainous areas in New Taipei would see heavy rain, and that rain and winds would increase in strength in the afternoon, Chu said.
Given that New Taipei encompasses a very large area, the city government must take the different conditions of each district into account and not just the city's urban center, Chu said.
Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung occupy a substantially sized area, Chu stressed, adding that the districts of Tamsui and Bali in his city had seen heavy rain as early as Tuesday night.