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July 22, 2017

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Tropical Storm Doksuri may bring heavy rain to South Taiwan: CWB

TAIPEI--Tropical Storm Doksuri might not make landfall on Taiwan, but could still bring significant rainfall to southern and southeastern Taiwan overnight, the Central Weather Bureau warned Thursday.

The bureau urged residents in Pingtung and Taitung counties in particular to stay alert as heavy downpours and strong winds are expected in those areas until early Friday when the storm is likely to be closest to the island.

Doksuri is likely to cross the Bashi Channel between the Philippines and Taiwan and head to China without hitting Taiwan directly, the bureau said, adding that it could lift its sea warning by Friday.

There may be some weather fluctuations across the island until June 30, including sporadic showers, but the storm's effects on Taiwan are expected to fade by the end of this week, the bureau forecast.

As of 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Doksuri was centered 230 kilometers south-southeast of Taiwan's southern tip.

It was moving at a speed of 24 km per hour in a west-northwesterly direction and packing maximum sustained winds of 72 kph, with gusts of up to 101 kph.

The air quality in southeastern Taiwan dropped sharply Thursday as Tropical Storm Doksuri's outer rim created dust clouds in the area, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.

At noon Thursday, the concentration of particulates in the air in that area was 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter — about 20 times higher than usual, EPA data showed.

That level of air pollution is considered a health threat, particularly to people with allergies and respiratory diseases, the EPA said.

The volume dropped slightly in the early afternoon, but the EPA warned that the air quality might remain poor throughout the day.

The dust was from the sand and mud washed down by torrential rains in southern Taiwan a week ago, according to Chu Yu-chi, an EPA official.

The silt on the riverbanks in the area was picked up by the outer rim of Doksuri as it approached the Bashi Channel between the Philippines and Taiwan, he said.

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