Wed, Aug 01, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Saola brings torrential rains to east coast

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A car belonging to the Yilan County Government is immersed yesterday as heavy rains swelled the Luodong River ahead of the approaching Typhoon Saola. The people in the car escaped unhurt.

Photo: Yang I-min, Taipei Times

Torrential rain brought by the circumfluence of Typhoon Saola began to affect eastern parts of the nation yesterday, with 40 people evacuated and several instances of road damage reported on some highways.

Officials in Datong Township (大同鄉), Yilan County, said they evacuated 40 residents from Yingshih Village (英士村) at 4:30pm because the village was located in a mudslide-prone area.

The township also closed Tianguer Bridge (田古爾橋).

The heavy rainfall caused flooding at the venue of the Yilan Folk Game Festival, which is located next to the Dongshan River.

To prevent casualties, the Directorate-General of Highways had pre-emptively closed parts of six highways, including highways No. 7, 8, 9, 11 and 23.

The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Saola at 8:30pm yesterday, with the outer arms of the storm able to touch the nation’s east coast.

The bureau said Saola was not upgraded to a typhoon until 2am yesterday, when the radius of the storm expanded from 200km to 220km.

As of 8:30pm, the center of Saola was 330km east of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) on the southern tip of the Hengchun Peninsula. It was moving north-northwest at 9kph.

However, he said that people living in the nation’s northwestern region would start to see stronger rainfall as well after the typhoon moves past 24 degrees north latitude.

The bureau advised residents of Yilan County, New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County and Miaoli County to prepare for extreme torrential rain, classified as more than 350mm of rain in a 24-hour period.

People in Hualien County, Keelung, Taipei, Hsinchu City, Greater Taichung, Nantou County and Chiayi County should also prepare for torrential rain, classified as more than 200mm of rain in a 24-hour period.

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