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Tropical Storm Damrey forms, Saola continues path toward Taiwan

2012/07/29 14:51:05

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) A new tropical storm formed southeast of Japan on Sunday, but it is unlikely to interact with another storm headed for Taiwan's east coast, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, the newly formed Tropical Storm Damrey was centered 2,490 kilometers east-northeast of Taipei, moving at a speed of 8 kilometers per hour in a west-northwesterly direction.

The 10th storm of the 2012 Pacific typhoon season, Damrey was packing sustained winds of 72 kph, with gusts reaching 100 kph, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Saola, the ninth storm of the season, was centered 730 km southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip, moving toward Taiwan in a north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 11 km per hour.

It was packing sustained winds of 100 kph, with gusts reaching 126 kph.

The two tropical storms are unlikely to interact in the near future because they are currently close to 2,000 km apart and are moving in a parallel direction, the bureau said.

As of Sunday, Saola remained of greatest concern to Taiwan, and if it continues on its path toward the island, a sea warning could be issued on July 30 at the earliest, the bureau said.

Forecasters warned, however, that the storm's path could change as it slows down on July 30-31 because of the weakness of a Pacific high pressure system, leaving it unclear how Saola will affect Taiwan in the next few days.

Damrey, on the other hand, will not have a direct impact on Taiwan, the bureau predicted.

The saola is a rare forest-dwelling bovine that lives only in certain areas of Vietnam and Laos, and damrey means elephant in the Khmer language of Cambodia.

As for Sunday's weather, the bureau predicted intermittent rain in eastern Taiwan, the Hengchun Peninsula on Taiwan's southern tip and mountain areas in northern Taiwan.

Areas south of Taoyuan County could also see localized thundershowers after noon.

Meanwhile, temperatures around Taiwan could reach 33-34 degrees Celsius due to the effects of the tropical storm, the bureau said. Temperatures had already risen above 36 degrees in Hsinchu early Sunday afternoon.

(By Christie Chen)