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Thousands evacuated as Tropical Storm Talim approaches

2012/06/19 18:53:19

Taipei, June 19 (CNA) Thousands of people in disaster-prone areas of central and southern Taiwan were evacuated Tuesday as Tropical Storm Talim approached, expected to bring up to 1,500 mm of rainfall in the coming days.

The Central Weather Bureau issued a sea warning early in the day, while a land warning for the fifth storm to form in the Pacific this typhoon season was expected to be issued later in the day at the earliest.

Some 700 residents of Laiyi Township in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County have been evacuated, the county government said.

Around 50 military personnel have been deployed in Linbian Township -- which suffered heavily during Typhoon Morakot in 2009 -- to help set up pumps in preparation for any potential disaster.

The Pingtung County government had also instructed residents of Sandimen and Wutai townships, which are under mudslide red alert, to evacuate by noon.

In neighboring Kaohsiung, hundreds of people were evacuated from three villages in Namasia and Liouguei districts.

Meanwhile, about 2,850 residents in mountainous areas who were evacuated during June 11 flooding will remain in two military camps in Kaohsiung as those areas are likely to be hit by floods and mudslides caused by Talim.

Due to previous heavy rainfall, traffic in some central and southern areas continued to be disrupted, local government officials said, adding that evacuations will continue as soon as the roads are reopened.

The disaster response center in Nantou County, which was activated earlier than scheduled in preparation for any emergencies, said residents along the Lising industrial road were scheduled to be evacuated that day.

A day earlier, hundreds of residents of the county's most remote village were evacuated.

Meanwhile, about 300 residents of a village in Alishan Township were evacuated to a military base.

In related news, Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan County and Keelung County agreed to jointly make a decision regarding cancellation of classes and work, said Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin while inspecting the city's disaster response center.

The suspension announcements will be issued at 5:30 a.m. that day, Hau said.

A meteorology team formed by experts from National Taiwan University have also joined the city's monitoring and emergency notification system, which could help forecast regional heavy rain about 1-2 days sooner than usual, Hau added.

(By Jackson Sun, Yeh Tzu-kang, Huang Kuo-fang, Wang Shwu-fen, Kuo
Chu-chen, Lin Heng-li, and Hanna Liu)