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Typhoon Meari likely to hit Taiwan: CWB

Tropical storm Meari, currently in the seas east of the Philippines, strengthened into a light typhoon at 2:00 p.m. yesterday that is likely to threaten Taiwan should it keep strengthening, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

CWB officials said that the center of the typhoon was on the waters 1,280 kilometers southeast of Ouluanpi in the southern county of Pingtung at 2:00 p.m, moving west-northwest at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour. The radius of the area mostly likely to be affected reached 150 kilometers.

The officials forecast that the outer bands of Typhoon Meari may affect Taiwan from June 24-26, and the possibility of the typhoon directly hitting Taiwan has not been ruled out.

But with the Pacific high pressure in northern Taiwan gradually easing, Typhoon Meari is likely to move north-northwest from west-northwest, or even move northward. If so, the typhoon may move toward Korea after passing through the waters east of Taiwan. However, its outer bands will still bring rainfall around the island, according to CWB forecasters.

In related news, President Ma Ying-jeou announced yesterday that the 18th National Congress of the ruling Kuomintang will be postponed by one week until July 2 from the originally scheduled date of June 25. The president made the announcement in his capacity as chairman of the KMT, according to party spokesman Su Chun-bin.

Su said that Ma made the announcement at a Central Standing Committee meeting of the ruling party.

During the meeting, Ma also called for local people to stay alert to Typhoon Meari's possible impact and make necessary preparations.

The KMT's National Congress will be held at a gymnasium in the area around Taichung Harbor on July 2, when the party's representatives from various areas will gather to approve the nomination of Ma and his running mate Premier Wu Den-yih as the KMT's ticket in the 2012 presidential race to be held Jan. 14.

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 Typhoon Meari likely to hit Taiwan: CWB 
Tropical storm Meari, currently in the seas east of the Philippines, strengthened into a light typhoon at 2:00 p.m. yesterday that is likely to threaten Taiwan should it keep strengthening, according to the Central Weather Bureau . (CNA)



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