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September 24, 2017

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Taiwan braces for tropical storm

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a land warning for Taiwan and surrounding islands yesterday for the approaching Tropical Storm Talim.

A high school student, surnamed Lin, drowned in a drainage ditch yesterday in Kaohsiung's Liouguei District. Accumulated rainfall reached 173.5 millimeters in Liouguei and the water level rose significantly both in rivers and ditches. The student is believed to have fallen into the ditch while retrieving his slippers.

Suspended Classes, Work

As of press time, Taichung, Changhua County, Nantou County, Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Yunlin County, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung County, Penghu County and Kinmen County had suspended school and work. Taipei, along with New Taipei City and Keelung City, will not suspend school or work, but a final decision will be announced by 5:30 a.m. today.

The agricultural losses caused by heavy rain across Taiwan in recent weeks have risen to NT$624 million, according to statistics released by the Council of Agriculture (COA) Tuesday. The number is expected to escalate further in light of the coming tropical storm.

Rare Route, Southwestern Wind to Bring Heavy Rain

Experts warned that while most storms come from the southeast of Taiwan, storms coming from southwest, like Talim, are likely to cause greater damage and bring more precipitation.

Moreover, along with the strong southwestern winds brought by Typhoon Guchol, the storm is expected to bring a greater amount of rainfall and cause landslides in mountainous areas.

President Urges Thorough Preparation

President Ma Ying-jeou directed public agencies yesterday to be prepared for heavy rains from Tropical Storm Talim, which may deliver up to 1,500 millimeters of precipitation in mountainous areas in following days, according to forecasts.

Ma instructed related agencies to closely monitor river water levels and urged government officials to distribute water pumps and sandbags and to dredge drainage ditches.

Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen visited the Central Emergency Operation Center and asked it to alert local governments of the need for precautionary evacuations in areas prone to natural disasters during heavy rains as quickly as possible.

As of noon yesterday, 115 hikers were still in mountainous areas, Chen said, and he directed agencies to evacuate the hikers to safety as soon as possible.

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