Land, sea warnings for Usagi lifted, rain alert still in effect
CNATAIPEI--The Central Weather Bureau lifted its land and sea warnings for Typhoon Usagi yesterday, but cautioned that heavy rain may continue across Taiwan.
September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The bureau lifted the land warning at 8:30 a.m. and then lifted the sea warning at 2:30 p.m., when Usagi was located approximately 290 kilometers southwest of the outlying island of Kinmen.
The typhoon was moving west toward Hong Kong at a speed of 19 km per hour, with maximum gusts of up to 144 kph.
Though the storm is weakening, its outer rim is expected to bring heavy rain to eastern and southern Taiwan over the rest of the day.
The bureau has issued a heavy rain advisory for southern Taiwan, Yilan, Keelung, Taipei and New Taipei, Penghu, and Kinmen.
An “extremely heavy rain” advisory is also in place for Hualien, Taitung, and the Hengchun Peninsula in Pingtung.
As Typhoon Usagi slowly pulls away from Taiwan, residents of Kaohsiung and Pingtung are faced with another pressing concern: a rise in domestic dengue fever.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautioned yesterday that still water left by typhoons can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry and spread the infectious disease.
Researchers have found that 80 millimeters of rainfall in a day or 200 mm in a week greatly increases the risk of dengue fever developing within about two months, CDC Deputy Director Chuang Jen-hsiang said.
Basements, open containers, and other secluded areas still covered in water from the typhoon could become hotbeds for the disease unless cleaned up, Chuang said, cautioning that the end of the Mid-Autumn Festival break means many people will be moving around the country to resume work and school — and possibly spreading disease.
Anyone showing dengue fever symptoms, including high fever, joint aches, or eye pain, should seek immediate attention, he said.
Taiwan has seen 123 cases of domestic dengue fever this year, all but 16 of which were reported after Taiwan's rainy season began in May.
The bulk of the infections occurred in Pingtung, though scattered cases have been reported in Kaohsiung, Taipei and New Taipei City as well.