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CWB warns Typhoon Guchol could trigger torrential rainfall

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) announced yesterday that although Typhoon Guchol has changed course and will not hit Taiwan directly, it might still affect the nation with heavy downpours beginning June 19-22.

According to the CWB, the storm was centered at 900 km southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip as of yesterday morning, traveling at a speed of 24 km per hour toward the north of Taiwan. The southwesterly air currents caused by the storm will trigger torrential rains in Central and Southern Taiwan, the bureau said. They also cautioned the public to take precautions over the next two days to avoid flood damage.

A new low pressure system that formed around Hainan Island, and was located about 1,000 km from Taiwan as of yesterday, may quickly evolve into a new typhoon, according to the bureau.

Despite the upcoming storm, skies cleared up yesterday, after one week of ceaseless rain. In a weather forecast report, the bureau mentioned that with the front moving away, weather was likely to become more stabilized on Sunday. It also predicted that temperature will slightly rise in all parts of Taiwan, ranging from 30 to 33 degrees Celsius.

Following the torrential rainfall in the previous week, Kaohsiung City evacuated numerous citizens from dangerous spots, especially mountainous areas that could easily lead to landslides. In an interview yesterday at the opening of the Yancheng Social Welfare Building of the Kaohsiung City Government, Mayor of Kaohsiung City Chen Chu (陳菊) explained that although the skies have cleared from the previous storm, they will continue to evacuate inhabitants from landslide-prone areas to safety, in preparation for the heavy downpour in the upcoming days.

Director-General of Social Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government Chang Nai-chien (張乃千) also added that a total of 884 people were evacuated to safety in Fengshan, Yanchao and other military camps. They will stay observant of the weather, and will not allow citizens to return home until the weather is more stabilized, said Chang. He also reassured the people that supplies are sufficient to maintain evacuees for two weeks in Namaxia and Taoyuan disaster areas, and that helicopters are equipped to deliver supplies for any road-blocked area s.

Threatened by the heavy typhoon, Deputy Director-General of the Information Bureau of the Kaohsiung City Government Lai Jui-lung said government will stop at nothing to ensure the people's safety, and will take extreme precautions against Guchol.

For precautionary efforts, the CWB also reminded people about the heavy waves caused by Guchol on the East and Southwestern Coast of Taiwan, and that they should be extremely cautious when approaching these places.

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