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April 29, 2017

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Tropical storm warnings to be lifted

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) is expected to lift both sea and land warnings against Tropical Storm Talim (泰利) this morning, with the storm weakening and moving fast through the Taiwan Strait after bringing heavy rainfall mainly to Southern Taiwan.

As of 21:30 p.m. yesterday, rainfall in the mountainous Taoyuan District of Kaohsiung reached a high of 380.5 mm, followed by 362 mm in Dewen Village of Sandimen Township of Pingtung County; 349.5 mm in Majia Township, Pingtung County; 339.5 mm in Liuguei Township of Kaohsiung; and 338 mm in Weiliaoshan Village of Pingtung's Sandimen Township. The remaining five townships among the top 10 in terms of precipitation were also in mountainous areas of Kaoshiung and Pingtung County, CWB statistics showed.

Accumulated precipitation between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Thursday could reach up to 700 mm in mountainous areas of Southern Taiwan. Elsewhere, the amount of rain was expected to range between 100-400 mm and 250-500 mm in the North and South respectively, according to CWB forecasts.

As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Talim was centered 90 km west of Taipei, moving at a speed of 41 kilometer per hour in a northeasterly direction. The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 72 kph, with gusts reaching 101 kph.

CWB officials said that if the storm maintains its current speed and path, it could leave Taiwan today. But they still warned of heavy rainfall in mountainous areas of Central and Southern Taiwan, likely to be caused by southwest air currents.

Red-code Landslide Alert Raised for 100 Rivers

In related news, water conservation authorities issued red-code landslide warnings for 100 rivers across Taiwan Wednesday.

The landslide-prone rivers lie in Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Chiayi Counties, according to the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau under the Council of Agriculture. Based on central government regulations, local governments are obligated to evacuate people residing close to red-coded rivers.

The government agency also issued yellow-code landslide warnings to another 559 rivers in Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, Nantou County, Chiayi County, Pingtung County, Taitung County and Yunlin County. Evacuations were advised for areas close to those rivers.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture started yesterday to gradually release a total of 1,700 tons of frozen cabbage to retail markets in an effort to rein in rising vegetable prices caused by crop damage due to heavy rain.

The council was also planning to import 920 tons of vegetables from neighboring countries to meet market demand, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah said while delivering a report on price fluctuations at a ruling Kuomintang Central Standing Committee meeting.

The average leafy vegetable prices in Taipei's fruit and vegetable wholesale markets had increased to NT$27.5 (US$0.9) per kilogram as of Wednesday, up NT$0.2 from the previous day, but up by 82 percent from June 8, before the start of the most recent period of heavy rainfall.

According to statistics compiled by the Taiwan Power Company, a total of 58,411 power users in Central and Southern Taiwan suffered blackouts as of 5 p.m. yesterday, but around 45,000 of them already saw their power supply resumed as a result of emergency fixing operations by Taipower. The remaining power users were mainly spread throughout Yunlin County, Chiayi County, Pingtung County and Kaohsiung.

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