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Heavy rains expected around midnight: CWB

2011/08/05 18:40:15

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) warned Friday that heavy rains in northern Taiwan will likely start late Friday as Typhoon Muifa approaches Taiwan.

As of 5 p.m., Muifa was centered 550 kilometers east-northeast of Taipei, moving in a west-northwesterly direction at a speed of 16 km per hour.

The storm is packing sustained winds of 155 kph, with gusts of up to 191 kph.

Earlier in the day, sudden rain showers in northern Taiwan and swells as high as 3 meters on the eastern coastline were observed.

Since the storm will most likely be closest to Taiwan near midnight, the bureau warned people in the northern areas of the country to stay on high alert.

"There is a good chance that we will see accumulated precipitation in the region exceed 200 millimeters in the next two days," said CWB Official Hsieh Ming-chang.

The bureau issued a sea warning for Muifa on Thursday, but said the storm is unlikely to make a landfall.

The CWB added that if Muifa stays on its current trajectory and strength, the sea warning will probably be lifted by midnight Aug. 6.

Meanwhile, Hsieh said more rainfall in eastern and southern Taiwan is expected on Aug. 7 and 8, when moisture southwest of the island moves in.

The overall rainy pattern is likely to last until Aug. 11, with the weather becoming hot and dry again.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)