Bureau warns against heavy rains from Saola
The China Post news staffResidents in Northern Taiwan and in the mountainous regions south of Hsinchu County should take precautions against possible heavy rains as Typhoon Saola continues its path toward the southern tip of Taiwan, said forecasters at the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).
July 30, 2012, 12:39 am TWN
Saola, the ninth storm of the 2012 Pacific typhoon season, was centered at around 600 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip Ouluanbi late yesterday afternoon.
It has gradually gained strength but was moving at a slower speed of 11 kilometers per hour (kph) toward Taiwan in a north northwesterly direction.
It was packing sustained winds of 100 kph, with gusts reaching 126 kph.
In spite of its long distance from Taiwan, Saola could still bring heavy rains to northern areas like New Taipei City, Yilan County and eastern Hualien County, said the CWB.
Mountainous regions south of Hsinchu could also possibly see heavy rains due to the peripheral effects from the typhoon.
The bureau said that fishermen operating in areas south of Taiwan and tourists to Taiwan's mountain regions and offshore islands should also take necessary precautions.
All travelers visiting Lanyu (Orchid Island) and Green Island off Taiwan's southeastern coast returned to Taitung County yesterday afternoon as the wind continued to pick up strength.
The CWB said a new and separate tropical storm formed southeast of Japan yesterday, but it is unlikely to interact with Saola headed for Taiwan.
The newly formed Typhoon Damrey, the 10th storm of the season, was centered 2,490 kilometers east-northeast of Taipei, moving at a speed of 8 kph in a west-northwesterly direction.
Damrey was packing sustained winds of 72 kph, with gusts reaching 100 kph, the bureau said.
The two tropical storms are unlikely to interact in the near future because they are about 2,000 kilometers apart and are moving in a parallel direction, the bureau said.
Saola is of the greatest concern to Taiwan. A sea warning could be issued today at the earliest if it continues its path toward the island, the bureau said.
Forecasters warned, however, that the storm's path could change as it slows down today and tomorrow, leaving it unclear how Saola will affect Taiwan in the next few days.
Damrey, on the other hand, will not have a direct impact on Taiwan, the bureau predicted.
The Saola is a rare forest-dwelling bovine that lives only in certain areas of Vietnam and Laos, and damrey means elephant in the Khmer language of Cambodia.
Meanwhile, temperatures around Taiwan could lower slightly to 33-34 degrees Celsius today due to the effects of Typhoon Saola, the bureau said. Temperatures once rose to above 36 degrees in Hsinchu early yesterday afternoon.