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May 30, 2017

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Taipei rainfall smashes 107-year-old record

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) stated that the cumulative rainfall recorded yesterday is the highest ever in May to be recorded in the 107 years since the establishment of the Taipei Weather Station.

Between 12 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. yesterday, the heavy rainfall was recorded by the station to have accumulated up to 358 millimeters. A CWB employee said that the rain yesterday also exceeded the combined rainfall of May thus far, setting a new May record for the weather station since its establishment in 1907. The downpour has also been recorded as the 17th heaviest in the last century.

Weather experts have compared the convection cells of the monsoon season to that of bullets being fired rapidly during guerilla warfare. Environmental resources director Chia Hsing-hsing (賈新興) of WeatherRisk Co. explained that convection cells are the hardest factors to prevent during monsoon seasons. Monsoon convection cells are constantly changing and are hence hard to predict, said Chia, with medium- to small-sized cells being hard to predict on satellite imaging feeds.

Section chief Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良) of the CWB's Weather Forecast Center stated that thunderstorm cells have also been entering Taipei since the night before, causing sever weather conditions. Chen also went on to explain that convection cells are a normal phenomenon during monsoon seasons, with the drastic climate potentially creating extreme weather conditions including thunderstorms, strong gusts, heavy rainfall, hail and tornadoes.

Alerts have been issued in the northern areas of Taiwan, with the possibility of further cloudbursts, as well as water increases in rivers and streams. Rockfalls and landslides are also more likely. The Water Resource Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs also issued level-one flood warnings to more urban areas in Taipei and New Taipei, with a level-two warning for rural New Taipei areas.

Taipei Mayor Sets Up Standby Response Protocols

With the downpour seeing no sign of abating, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) called for a second meeting early yesterday with various disaster relief departments to establish protocols for emergency personnel to be on standby. Reportedly, disaster relief-related departments have been ordered to monitor current weather status as closely as possible.

A representative of the Taipei City Government has also stated that as of yesterday, reports of floods have been concentrated on roads and streets, and a minor landslide was reported in the Jiuzhuang area of Nangang district. The Geotechnical Engineering department of the Taipei City Government has been dispatched to respond, said the representative.

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