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Over 35,000 soldiers being readied for typhoon contingencies

2011/08/28 19:33:08

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) As Taiwan began dealing with the effects of Typhoon Nanmadol Sunday, the Defense Ministry mobilized over 35,000 officers and soldiers to be ready to pitch in with rescue, evacuation and disaster prevention assistance.

A total of 35,197 uniformed men and women were being deployed in areas forecast to be hit hardest by Nanmadol, which was sweeping toward Taiwan Sunday evening and was expected to make landfall Monday morning in the southern part of the island.

The soldiers will be equipped with portable power generators, water pumps, amphibious assault vehicles, tanks, aircraft and boats and rafts to help people affected by the storm, the ministry said.

The first 500 soldiers were dispatched Sunday to Nantou County in central Taiwan, Taitung and Hualien counties in the east, and Chiayi and Pingtung counties and Kaohsiung City in the south, the ministry said.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, as of 5:30 p.m., the center of the typhoon was located 70 kilometers south-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi.

It was moving in a north to north-northwest direction at a speed of 12 kilometers per hour turning to 8 kph over the next 24 hours, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 137 kph and gusts of up to 173 kph, forecasters said.

(By Lo Chu-tung and Deborah Kuo)
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