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September 23, 2017

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CWB issues sea warning ahead of Talim landfall

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) is slated to issue a sea warning against Tropical Storm Talim (泰利) at 5:30 a.m., and may issue a land warning later in the day, making it likely to be the first storm to hit Taiwan this year and bring heavy rainfall expected across the island, CWB officials said last night.

As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, the storm was centered 900 kilometers west-southwest of Eluanbi on the southern tip of Taiwan, moving slowly at a speed of 4 kilometers per hour in a northeasterly direction. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 72 kph, with gusts of up to 100 kph.

The tropical storm in combination with a southwest air current could bring heavy rain to Taiwan from Tuesday to Friday, with central and southern Taiwan likely to see between 1,200 and 1,500 millimeters of rainfall over that period, CWB officials said.

Nevertheless, Peng Chi-ming, general manager of WeatherRisk Explore Inc., said the characteristic of the southwest air current is similar to the air current that caused the devastating floods in 1958 in central Taiwan. He continued that Tropical Storm Talim is moving toward the Taiwan Strait and may linger for a while to bring heavy downpours.

Meanwhile, Professor Liu Guang-ying at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences of the Chinese Culture University, said that Talim is a storm developed from the southwest air current of the plum rain season and is moving in a northeasterly direction along the Taiwan Strait. "Such a movement route is quite strange, and may constitute an even more serious impact on Taiwan with torrential rainfall than the direct landing of a typhoon on the island," Liu warned.

Liu said heavy rainfall will be seen across the island, starting today through Thursday at least. He asked local people to take preventive measures against possible disasters brought by heavy rainfall as soon as possible.

However, according to CWB officials, a "Fujiwhara effect," (藤原效應)or the rotation of two storms around each other, is not likely to occur between Talim and Typhoon Guchol as the two systems are more than 1,000 km apart.

As of 2:00 p.m. Monday, Typhoon Guchol (谷超) was located 750 km east-northeast of Eluanbi, moving in a north-northeasterly direction at a fast pace of 44 kilometers per hour and constituting no direct influence on Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Central Emergency Operation Center was activated at 3:30 p.m. Monday, half an hour earlier than scheduled, in preparation for any emergencies, with Interior Minister Lee Hung-yuan taking command.

The officials said that the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Council of Agriculture have completed all necessary preparations for relief assistance amid heavy rainfall to be brought by Tropical Storm Talim in combination with the southwest air current.

The Cabinet also asked local governments to set up emergency operation centers as soon as possible. It also urged people to take early precautions against the storm and avoid traveling to mountainous areas.

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